Esperion (ESPR) recently announced the appointment of Sheldon Koenig as president and chief executive officer and board member, effective immediately, notes John McCamant, biotech sector expert and editor of The Medical Technology Stock Letter.

With over 30 years of commercial and operational experience as an accomplished leader in the cardiovascular space, Mr. Koenig has served as the company’s chief operating officer since December 2020.

He is succeeding Tim Mayleben, who after serving in this role for the last decade, has decided to step down and will continue to serve as a senior advisor to help ensure a smooth transition.

We have known Tim for over 20 years now through both iterations of ESPR. He has done an excellent job of creating shareholder value and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.

Previously, Mr. Koenig was chief commercial officer at Portola Pharmaceuticals until the company was acquired by Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN). At Portola, he built the U.S. commercial and operations functions as well as the global organization.

Earlier, Mr. Koenig was senior vice president and head of the cardiovascular franchise for Sanofi, where he led U.S. business operations and product launches in more than 20 countries.

Mr. Koenig began his career at Merck (MRK), where he served for more than 25 years in roles of increasing responsibility within the company’s cardiovascular thrombosis franchises. At Merck, he served as vice president and global brand leader for the cardiovascular division. He led marketing for Zetia, at the time the leading non-statin cholesterol lowering medicine, franchise.

In our view, Koenig has the right stuff to maximize shareholder value and we expect him to lead a boost in sales as the country continues to open up and the sale force begins to make face-to-face sales calls, one of the keys to generating new brand awareness and sales. 

We also believe that ESPR is ripe for a takeover with its low valuation and two de-risked FDA approved drugs. If the company is not acquired this year, in our view the CLEAR outcomes trial which will be positive will drive an acquisition next year. 

Our confidence in CLEAR is driven by our many discussions with ESPR management over the years and they have done an excellent job designing and powering the trial for success.  In fact, we predict that the positive CLEAR data will be the final feather in Tim’s ESPR cap.

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