Esperion Therapeutics moves growing staff back to Ann Arbor

Esperion Therapeutics is moving its headquarters back to Ann Arbor, taking space in the Valley Ranch Business Park on the city’s south side.

Esperion Therapeutics relaunched out of Ann Arbor six years ago when Roger Newton and a group of investors bought it back from Pfizer. They moved the company to the Michigan Life Sciences Innovation Center in Plymouth a few years ago before bringing the company’s headquarters back to its roots in Ann Arbor this week.

"We're keeping our labs out there (in Plymouth)," says Tim Mayleben, CEO of Esperion Therapeutics. "We have added approximately 8,000 square feet in Ann Arbor."

Newton made his name in pharmaceuticals by co-discovering Lipitor at Pfizer before he went on to co-found Esperion Therapeutics, which was acquired by Pfizer. Esperion Therapeutics is now working on a new drug, ETC-1002, for patients with hypercholesterolemia and other cardiometabolic risk factors. ETC-1002 is a small-molecule metabolic regulator of imbalances in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism and inflammation. It is being developed to address the underlying causes of metabolic diseases and reduce multiple risk factors associated with them.

ETC-1002 completed a Phase 2a program which consisted of seven clinical trials for the drug last year. It is currently conducting a Phase 2b program of two clinical trials for the drug and is set to begin a Phase 3 program launch in 2015.

"We're in the middle of this large Phase 2b program, which totals approximately 500 patients across the country," Mayleben says.

Esperion Therapeutics has raised $110 million in seed capital over the last year to push its commercialization efforts forward. The firm raised $80 million in an IPO and another $30 million in mezzanine financing.

"We have money to take us through next year and into 2016," Mayleben says.

Esperion Therapeutics has hired 10 people in the last year and is looking to hire a clinical researcher right now. The staff currently stands at 18 employees and 10 independent contractors.

"We're really taking advantage of the wealth of talent and expertise here, especially after Pfizer closed (its Ann Arbor office)," Mayleben says.

Source: Tim Mayleben, CEO of Esperion Therapeutics
Writer: Jon Zemke

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