Esperion Therapeutics, a privately held biotechnology company working to discover, develop and commercialize treatments for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, today announced that the company has initiated a Phase I clinical study for ETC-1002, the company's novel small molecule compound designed to beneficially regulate the levels of plasma lipids and lipoproteins. The single escalating dose study in healthy volunteers will be the first clinical study conducted by Esperion since the re-establishment of the company in May 2008.
ETC-1002 is being developed to treat dyslipidemia, an early-stage risk factor of coronary artery disease and associated metabolic syndromes. The compound targets lipid metabolism in two ways: first, by inhibiting fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis; and second, by enhancing oxidation of fatty acids. ETC-1002 therefore has the potential to lower LDL-C and triglycerides and also to increase HDL-C.
"Our pre-clinical research related to ETC-1002 has been very promising, and we are pleased to advance this new product candidate to clinical development. ETC-1002 is the flagship product of our dyslipidemia program, and it will also be the first product in our pipeline to reach clinical-stage development," said Roger Newton, PhD, FAHA, president and CEO of Esperion Therapeutics. "Just over a year and a half following the re-establishment of Esperion, we continue to progress toward our goal of bringing breakthrough cardiovascular and metabolic disease therapies to market."
Cardio-metabolic diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among men and women in industrialized countries around the world.
"We are very well positioned to move ahead with the development effort for ETC-1002 as we also advance our other promising pre-clinical research programs in both acute and chronic therapies to treat cardiovascular and metabolic disorders," Mr. Newton added.