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Howard Weisman, S.Douglas Sheldon and Dr Jeffery Z. Li, co-founders of ESP Pharma, and its predecessor ESP Partners, LLC announced today the formation of ESP Equity Partners LLC (www.espequity.com ). They will all be General Partners in the new company.
Focused on emerging biotechnology and pharmaceutical investment opportunities in North America, Europe, and Asia, ESP Equity Partners will leverage their pharmaceutical general management, production, sales and marketing experience in the international pharmaceutical industry with entrepreneurs and investors around the world.

Weisman, Sheldon and Li worked together at Parke-Davis prior to founding ESP Partners, LLC in 2000 and later ESP Pharma, Inc in 2002. ESP Pharma, a specialty pharmaceutical company with a ¡°Buy and Build, Search and Develop¡± strategy, successfully quadrupled its sales within 3 years, and significantly increased the potential of its marketed and late-stage development specialty prescription products. Protein Design Labs (PDL) acquired ESP Pharma for nearly $500 million dollars in March 2005.

¡°Having overseen the growth of ESP Pharma from start-up to a fully integrated company in less than three years, we truly have a firsthand understanding of the value of teamwork and the importance of domain expertise in building a pharmaceutical company,¡± said Howard Weisman, former President and COO of ESP Pharma. ¡°We¡¯re going to take that expertise and our solid knowledge of pharma management, production, sales and marketing and look for talented teams with ideas, products and dreams we can fund and help bring to fruition.¡±

¡°China,¡± according to Jeffery Li, ¡°with its rapidly growing pharmaceutical market, improving business/regulatory environment, cheap labor force, and vast number of highly skilled returnees trained in the US and Europe, presents unique opportunities for entrepreneurs, in manufacturing, R&D outsourcing and product development. We will leverage our experience within the global healthcare industry to help these entrepreneurs bring their products and services to the international market¡±. Dr. Li, a Chinese native, serves on the board of several Chinese Pharma Professional Associations, including BayHelix (www.bayhelix.org). Since last year he has brought numerous Chinese pharmaceutical companies to the United States for a series of symposia focused on the rapidly emerging opportunities in the Chinese pharmaceutical industry.

S. Douglas Sheldon brings over 30 years of hands-on senior management experience in all aspects of the domestic and international pharmaceutical industry to ESP Equity. Most recently as Senior Vice President for Operations, and as an ESP Pharma founder, he was responsible for contracting the best cGMP manufacturing facilities for the six actively sold products and their drug substances as well as for three developmental products at ESP Pharma. In the first two years he successfully managed four manufacturing site transfers to ESP Pharma¡¯s manufacturing facilities. ¡°The global opportunity for ESP Equity is enormous.¡± says Sheldon. ¡°As a pharmaceutical executive in Latin America, Asia and the United States I¡¯ve worked with numerous bright entrepreneurs in all aspects of the pharmaceutical business. ESP Equity will take advantage of the rapidly transforming global pharmaceutical industry which we know is ripe for the development of specialty pharmaceutical models - models that we created successfully in ESP Pharma, and which created exceptional returns for our investors.¡±

ESP Equity Partners LLC will be based in New York, Miami and Beijing, and will complete fund-raising activities later this year.
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