Co-founder buys back Esperion Therapeutics from Pfizer, lines up $22.75 million in VC

Pfizer may be leaving Ann Arbor but more and more of its pieces are sticking around Tree Town. The latest defection is Esperion Therapeutics, which is being bought back by its co-founder and reestablished as an Ann Arbor-based business.


Dr. Roger Newton, the former CEO of Esperion and senior vice president at Pfizer, has rounded up $22.75 million in venture capital from Aisling Capital, Alta Partners, Domain Associates and Arboretum Ventures, allowing Pfizer to retain a financial interest in the enterprise. The biopharmaceutical company will focus on the discovery and development of compounds to treat cardiovascular and metabolic disease.


"We are extremely pleased to be working with such a strong group of investors as Esperion Therapeutics continues our important work in treating cardiovascular and metabolic disease," Newton said in a press release. "Re-establishing Esperion as a privately held entity ensures that the programs we have obtained will continue to advance as potentially important therapeutics."


Before being spun-out, Esperion operated as a research division of Pfizer with Newton as its director. He also served an executive for Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis, which Pfizer acquired, before co-founding Esperion. Newton also co-discovered and was product champion of Lipitor.


"We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Newton and his outstanding team of scientists," Alison de Bord, director at Alta Partners, said in a press release. "We believe that Esperion will establish itself as a leading player in the development of HDL therapies."


Source: Pfizer
Writer: Jon Zemke

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