Esperion Therapeutics climbs as company says high cholesterol drug met goals in trial

MarketsAssociated Press

Shares of Esperion Therapeutics surged in aftermarket trading Wednesday after the company reported positive clinical trial results for its experimental high-cholesterol drug ETC-1002.

The company said patients who were treated with ETC-1002 had bigger reductions in their levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol than patients who took an older drug, Merck & Co.'s Zetia.

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Patients who took a smaller dose of the drug had a 27-percent reduction in LDL cholesterol, and patients given a larger dose had a 30-percent reduction. Patients who got the lower dose of ETC-1002 and a small dose of Zetia had their LDL cholesterol levels reduced by 43 percent. The 12-week midstage study enrolled 348 patients.

The Ann Arbor, Michigan, company said its drug also worked better than Zetia at reducing a market of inflammation in coronary disease.

Shares of Esperion Therapeutics Inc. climbed $8.58, or 35.1 percent, to $33 in aftermarket trading.