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Esperion Therapeutics Going Public (Again) At $14 A Share

PLYMOUTH -- For the second time, a Michigan company called Esperion Therapeutics is selling stock to the public.

Esperion Wednesday announced a $14-a-share price for an initial public offering of 5 million shares.

Esperion is developing and commercializing oral treatments for reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, the so-called bad cholesterol.

The shares began trading on the Nasdaq Global Market Wednesday under the symbol ESPR.

Esperion stock spiked as high as $17 Wednesday before closing at $14.50.

In addition, Esperion has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 750,000 shares of common stock to cover additional demand.

The original Esperion went public in 2000, raising $138 million, and was acquired by Pfizer Inc. for $1.3 billion in 2004. But when Pfizer closed its Ann Arbor laboratories in 2007, it also stopped working on the drugs that Esperion had been developing. Those drugs were intended to raise high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, the so-called good cholesterol, which studies have shown can remove blockages from arteries.

In 2008, Roger Newton -- part of the team that developed the blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor, and developer of the drug Esperion has been developing -- raised $22 million to buy back the intellectual property from Pfizer and re-launched Esperion.

The new drug aims to lower bad cholesterol without the side effects, including muscle weakness, that some patients experience with Lipitor and other statin drugs.

Newton stepped down as CEO of the second Esperion go-'round in January, when Tim Mayleben, who had been the original Esperion's CFO and COO, was hired to lead the new Esperion.

Prior to the IPO, the new Esperion had already raised $57 million in venture capital.

Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. were joint book-running managers for the offering. JMP Securities LLC and Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. Inc. were co-managers.

A registration statement relating to these securities was declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday, June 25. When available, copies of the final prospectus relating to the offering may be obtained by contacting Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, Attention: Prospectus Department, One Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010, by calling toll-free (800) 221-1037, or by emailing; or Citigroup Global Markets Inc., c/o Broadridge Financial Solutions, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, NY 11717, or by email at, by phone at (800) 831-9146.

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