While the blockbuster statin drugs serve to limit the progression of atherosclerosis by lowering LDL cholesterol levels, Esperion Inc. hopes to take this one step further. The company is focusing on HDL metabolism and its role in the Reverse Lipid Transport (RLT) pathway to reverse atherosclerosis.

LDL deposits lipids in the arteries, while HDL acts to remove them. With a portfolio of in-licensed therapeutics and internal genomics-based drug discovery efforts, Esperion is taking two primary approaches in treating cardiovascular and metabolic diseases: delivering synthetic HDL derivatives as biopharmaceuticals for acute indications and raising existing HDL concentrations with small molecules to treat chronic disease.