CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Epizyme, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company leading the creation of personalized therapeutics to treat patients with genetically defined cancers, Eisai Co., Ltd. (ESALY) and Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced today a collaboration to develop an in vitro PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) based companion diagnostic test. The collaboration's goal is to identify lymphoma patients with non-wild type EZH2, including the Y641 mutation. As demonstrated in Epizyme's Nature Chemical Biology publication, "A selective inhibitor of EZH2 blocks H3K27 methylation and kills mutant lymphoma cells [link]," lymphomas with genetic alterations of EZH2 require EZH2 enzymatic activity for proliferation, suggesting that EZH2 is a driving oncogene in these cancers and therefore an important therapeutic target.
Robert Gould, Ph.D., President and CEO of Epizyme, added, "Epizyme is committed to the creation and commercialization of personalized therapeutics and companion diagnostics for patients with genetically defined cancers. Our collaboration with Roche to develop a companion diagnostic, in parallel with the clinical development of our EZH2 inhibitor with Eisai, demonstrates our commitment to accelerate the development of this innovative personalized therapeutic for lymphoma patients."
"Eisai and Epizyme are collaborating to develop an EZH2 inhibitor as a personalized therapeutic for patients with genetically defined cancers," commented Takashi Owa, Ph.D., Chief Innovation Officer, Eisai Product Creation Systems. "Working together with Roche enables us to target this important potential therapeutic for a genetically defined subset of lymphoma patients with high unmet need."
"Our collaboration with Epizyme and Eisai highlights Roche's position as the partner of choice for the development and commercialization of companion diagnostics for personalized healthcare. We are excited to be developing a diagnostic test that will support Epizyme and Eisai in the development of an EZH2 inhibitor as a new therapeutic for patients with genetically defined lymphomas," said Paul Brown, Head of Roche Molecular Diagnostics.
About Epizyme, Inc.
Epizyme is leading the creation of small molecule histone methyltransferase inhibitors (HMTi), a new class of personalized therapeutics for patients with genetically defined cancers. Genetic alterations in HMTs, a class of epigenetic enzymes, drive multiple human diseases. Our approach represents the future of healthcare by matching better medicines with the right patients.
Epizyme has benchmark alliances with Celgene, GSK and Eisai and receives funding and strategic support from the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). For more information, visit www.epizyme.com.
SOURCE Epizyme, Inc.