Epizyme, Eisai form partnership in pursuit of epigenetic therapeutics
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Two giants are coming together as Epizyme Inc. and Eisai Co. Ltd. of Tokyo have formed a worldwide partnership for the purpose of developing and commercializing therapeutics that will target EZH2, an epigenetic enzyme. The resulting therapeutics will be used to treat lymphoma as well as other cancers in genetically defined patients. Epizyme will be granted $6 million in the form of upfront and milestone payments and may earn upwards of $200 million in research, development and sales milestones, as well as double-digit royalties. Eisai will also fund 100 percent of research and development through the stage of human proof-of-concept, after which Epizyme has the option of a profit share and co-commercialization arrangement for the United States, something that Epizyme President and CEO Dr. Robert Gould calls "a key element of our strategy to discover, develop and also to commercialize epigenetic medicines."