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Posted on Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 9:50 a.m.

Ann Arbor pharmaceutical company Esperion Therapeutics rings Nasdaq opening bell Wednesday

By Ben Freed

Esperion Theraputics executives Tim Mayleben and Roger Newton rang the bell to open trading on the Nasdaq exchange Wednesday morning.

Esperion returned to the exchange June 26 through a second “initial” public offering. Pfizer purchased the original Esperion for $1.3 billion in 2000.


Esperion President and CEO Tim Mayleben (left) and Chief Science Officer Roger Newton in the company's labs at the Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center.

Melanie Maxwell | file photo

Newton, a co-inventor of Lipitor and founder of the first Esperion, raised more than $22 million to buy the intellectual property from the original company back from Pfizer when the company closed its Ann Arbor offices in 2007.

Nasdaq-listed companies are often invited to ring an opening or closing bell when they have product launches, earning reports, initial public offerings or other newsworthy developments. Esperion is listed on the exchange under the letters ESPR. As of Wednesday morning, the company was trading at $17.31 per share, up from its initial offering price of $14.50.

The opening bell ceremonies at Nasdaq began at roughly 9:15 a.m. according to the exchange’s website. The ringing can be viewed on Nasdaq’s webcam and on a number of business-focused television networks.

According to Nasdaq’s website, the ringing is choreographed by a professional event planner, and can include remarks from a company’s CEO or chairman lasting no longer than two minutes.

Since its re-founding, Esperion has focused on the development of ETC-1002, a drug that could lower “bad” LDL cholesterol without the use of statins which can cause negative reactions in some patients. The company closed a $33 million funding round in April that brought the total amount of capital invested in the company to just more than $57 million.

According to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Esperion had a $70 million goal for the IPO in June. In a release published July 11, the company said that net proceeds from the offering are expected to be $72.8 million.

Mayleben previously told that the drug being developed by the company, which is housed at the Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center in Plymouth Township, is undergoing the second round of “phase two” clinical tests. Most drugs go through three phases of testing before the results are submitted to the Food and Drug Administration. Mayleben said he does not expect the company to submit ETC-1002 to the FDA for approval for at least another three years.

Esperion Theraputics was unable to comment for this story because the company is in the midst of an SEC-mandated 25 day quiet period following its initial public offering. During the three and a half weeks following and IPO, companies are not allowed to engage in any activities that could be perceived as promotional, including speaking with the press.

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Get in touch with Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2


Kai Petainen

Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 3:37 p.m.

Check it out, you can see photos of the ESPR group ringing the bell, here: cool...

Kai Petainen

Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 3:57 p.m.

sorry.. multiple comments. check out the link above at the nasdaq website... not only are there pictures, but there's a nice video of them ringing the bell and comments that they made. nicely done. the website they have for the company is nice... info about the drug trials and SEC filings are easily available. easy to find the contact page for media requests. good stuff. For the 'stock information' section of the website, they might want to do something similar to this:

Kai Petainen

Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 3:23 p.m.

impressive... the stock is up 20% since it IPO'd. nice. congrats! it's nice to see an IPO that goes up... all too often they go down right-away. so congrats!

Kai Petainen

Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 3:10 p.m.

"Newton, a co-inventor of Lipitor and founder of the first Esperion, raised more than $22 million to buy the intellectual property from the original company back from Pfizer when the company closed its Ann Arbor offices in 2007" Fascinating. Actually, Pfizer still 'owns' ESPR. Pfizer has $17 million in shares of ESPR. So at 6.6% ownership, it still "owns" ESPR. They have more shares than Roger Newton. Roger Newton has $11 million in ESPR or 4.3% of ESPR. Arboretum Ventures has $12 million of ESPR or 4.8%. Timothy Mayleben, the CEO of ASTM, has 5000 shares of ESPR. The #1 insider is Domain Associates with 14.6% ownership and $37 million in the company. It'll be very important to note when any of these start selling their shares -- as some view insider selling as a 'signal' to the direction of the stock. Curious -- as Newton is a Director at SPARK, how does SPARK (a nonprofit), benefit from the IPO?