The most powerful cholesterol drugs ever invented have become a pharmaceutical cautionary tale, failing to reach their commercial potential because of high sticker prices and an inconvenient need for needles. Esperion Therapeutics (ESPR), a small Michigan company with a pair of approved cholesterol treatments, believes it can replicate their effects in pill form, creating a cheaper, easier-to-take medicine that can succeed where its predecessors faltered.
Esperion said Wednesday that it has bought the rights to an oral treatment that targets PCSK9, a protein found in the liver that regulates LDL “bad” cholesterol. The deal, involving a privately held firm called Serometrix, involves a $12.5 million in upfront cash followed by undisclosed future payments tied to development milestones.
The treatment is in the earliest stages of development. It also has never been tested in a human trial, and Esperion declined to disclose a timeline for its development. But the company is confident Serometrix’s novel approach to chemistry can hit a target that has evaded the drug industry for years: blocking PCSK9 with a pill.
You need better medicines that dont have side effects that make people weak and where you dont have to worry about potassium intake
Obviously Esperion is desperate in believing that LDL is a valid biomarker for CVD and mortality. In their first approval, the FDA label specifically marked the drug did not show any benefit for CVD and mortality. So why buy another PCSK9 asset?
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