Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited announced that it has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. to market bempedoic acid, their proprietary oral oncedaily drug for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia, in South Korea, Brazil, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia.
Under the Agreement, Daiichi Sankyo will be responsible for the commercialization of bempedoic acid and the bempedoic acid/ezetimibe combination, while Esperion will be responsible for their manufacture. In terms of the development operations required for regional applications, Esperion will undertake operations in South Korea and Taiwan, and Daiichi Sankyo will undertake operations in the other territories.
In addition, Daiichi Sankyo will make an upfront payment of $30 million to Esperion in addition to future, undisclosed milestone payments and sales royalties.
With a novel mechanism of action, bempedoic acid is a drug that inhibits cholesterol and fatty acid biosynthesis by acting on ATP Citrate Lyase, an enzyme that cleaves citrate in the liver. Bempedoic acid was approved in February 2020 in the U.S. and in April of the same year in Europe Union, and its commercialization has been managed by Esperion in the U.S. and by Daiichi Sankyo Europe GmbH (Munich, Germany), a subsidiary of Daiichi Sankyo, in Europe.