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GEN News Highlights : Mar 10, 2011

Epizyme and Eisai Form Strategic Partnership Targeting EZH2 for Treatment of Lymphoma

Epizyme is due for $6 million, with $200 million potential based on R&D, sales milestones, and royalties.

Epizyme and Eisai have formed a worldwide strategic partnership to discover, develop, and commercialize therapeutics targeting the epigenetic enzyme EZH2 for the treatment of lymphoma and other cancers in genetically defined patients.

EZH2 is among small molecule histone methyltransferase inhibitors whose discovery and development Epizyme focuses on.

Epizyme will receive $6 million in up-front and initial milestone payments, and may earn more than $200 million in additional research, development, and sales milestones, and up to double-digit royalties. Additionally, Eisai will fund 100% of R&D through human proof-of-concept, at which point Epizyme has the right to opt into a profit share and co-commercialization arrangement for the United States.

“The U.S. profit share and co-commercialization option is a key element of our strategy to discover, develop, and also to commercialize epigenetic medicines,” states Robert Gould, Ph.D., president and CEO of Epizyme.