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Boehringer Ingelheim. (11/15/18). "Press Release: Boehringer Ingelheim and Epizyme Announce Worldwide Collaboration to Develop Novel Epigenetic Oncology Therapies". Cambridge, MA & Ingelheim.

Region Region ALL
Organisations Organisation Boehringer Ingelheim (Group)
  Organisation 2 Epizyme Inc. (Nasdaq: EPZM)
Products Product small-molecule cancer drug
  Product 2 epigenetics / epigenomics
Index term Index term Boehringer–Epizyme: small-molecule cancer drugs, 201811– collab strategic ww to develop inhibitors toward two epigenetic targets
Persons Person Wood, Clive R. (Boehringer 201403– SVP Discovery Researchbefore Bayer HealthCare + Dyax)
  Person 2 Bazemore, Robert (Epizyme 201811 CEO)
     


> Boehringer Ingelheim Expands Biomarker-driven Oncology Programs

> Alliance Enhances Epizyme’s Leadership in Oncology Epigenetics


Boehringer Ingelheim and Epizyme, Inc. (Nasdaq: EPZM) today announced a new global collaboration focused on the research, development and commercialization of novel small molecule inhibitors directed toward two previously unaddressed epigenetic targets as potential therapies for people with cancer. Specifically, these targets are enzymes within the helicase and histone acetyltransferase (HAT) families that when dysregulated have been linked to the development of cancers that currently lack therapeutic options.

“Boehringer Ingelheim’s collaboration with Epizyme furthers our strategic vision to profoundly impact the oncology treatment landscape by enabling a new generation of precision medicines,” said Clive R. Wood, Ph.D., Senior Corporate Vice President, Discovery Research, Boehringer Ingelheim. “We are excited to launch this partnership with Epizyme and to work together with them to advance epigenetic inhibitors that have the potential to transform the lives of patients and help win the fight against difficult-to-treat cancers.”

Epigenetic modification affects how genes are biologically regulated. More than half of cancers can stem from functional errors in epigenetic modification. In particular cases, epigenetic dysregulation is associated with alterations in specific components of gene regulation, which can be used to identify patients most likely to benefit from the therapy. What makes both targets compelling is not only the clear role they play in cancer but that both targets have patient stratification biomarkers, which will enable a focus on the patients most likely to benefit from these potential treatments. Epizyme is a leader in the discovery of the roles of such enzymes and their development as therapy targets.

“This partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim to develop treatments for two novel epigenetic targets, which have been historically viewed as undruggable, further validates the promise of epigenetics for oncology and our pioneering leadership in this field,” said Robert Bazemore, president and chief executive officer of Epizyme. “By combining our innovative target identification and research capabilities with Boehringer Ingelheim’s world-class drug development and commercialization expertise, we are aiming to realize the full potential of these targets and our platform, while continuing to focus on executing development of our lead program in multiple ongoing and planned clinical trials.”

The collaboration has a strategic goal to focus on lung and other solid tumor cancers in patients with defined mutations, sub-populations that currently lack precision medicine treatments. Under the terms of the agreement, Boehringer Ingelheim and Epizyme will jointly research and develop a helicase program, with both parties sharing U.S. commercialization responsibilities and Boehringer Ingelheim assuming responsibility for commercialization outside the U.S. Epizyme and Boehringer Ingelheim will share research responsibilities for the HAT program, with Boehringer Ingelheim assuming responsibility for worldwide development and commercialization.

Epizyme will receive an upfront payment of $15 million and an additional $5 million in research funding in 2019. Epizyme is eligible to receive more than $280 million in additional payments for research, development, regulatory and commercial milestones. For the helicase program, Epizyme will fund a portion of the global development costs, retain a share of U.S. profits and receive tiered royalties on ex-U.S. sales. For the HAT program, Epizyme is eligible to receive tiered royalties on worldwide sales.


About Helicases and HATs

Helicases are ATP-dependent enzymes that act as molecular motors to unwind and remodel the nucleic acids that compose DNA and RNA. The human genome has a large helicase gene family of more than 100 members, some of which have been linked to multiple cancers when dysregulated.

The family of HATs includes 18 enzymes that add acetyl groups to proteins including histones. Acetylation, along with such other modifications as methylation and phosphorylation, affects how histones interact with DNA. These changes in the structural support provided to chromosomes in turn influence gene expression. Changes in histones, including dysregulated acetylation, have been associated with diseases including multiple cancers.


About Boehringer Ingelheim

Improving the health and quality of life of patients is the goal of the research-driven pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim. The focus in doing so is on diseases for which no satisfactory treatment option exists to date. The company therefore concentrates on developing innovative therapies that can extend patients’ lives. In animal health, Boehringer Ingelheim stands for advanced prevention.

Family-owned since it was established in 1885, Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the pharmaceutical industry’s top 20 companies. Some 50,000 employees create value through innovation daily for the three business areas human pharmaceuticals, animal health and biopharmaceuticals. In 2017, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of nearly 18.1 billion euros. R&D expenditure, exceeding three billion euros, corresponded to 17.0 per cent of net sales.

As a family-owned company, Boehringer Ingelheim plans in generations and focuses on long-term success, rather than short-term profit. The company therefore aims at organic growth from its own resources with simultaneous openness to partnerships and strategic alliances in research. In everything it does, Boehringer Ingelheim naturally adopts responsibility towards mankind and the environment.

More information about Boehringer Ingelheim can be found on www.boehringer-ingelheim.com or in our annual report: http://annualreport.boehringer-ingelheim.com.


About Boehringer Ingelheim in Oncology

Cancer takes away loved ones, time and untapped potential. At Boehringer Ingelheim we are providing new hope for patients by taking cancer on. We are collaborating with the oncology community to deliver scientific breakthroughs to transform the lives of patients. Our primary focus is in lung and gastrointestinal cancers, with the goal of delivering breakthrough, first-in-class treatments that can help win the fight against cancer. Our commitment to innovation has resulted in pioneering treatments for lung cancer and we are advancing a unique pipeline of cancer cell directed agents, immune oncology therapies and intelligent combination approaches to help combat many cancers.


About Epizyme, Inc.

Epizyme, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to rewriting treatment for cancer and other serious diseases through novel epigenetic medicines. Epizyme is broadly developing its lead product candidate, tazemetostat, a first-in-class EZH2 inhibitor, with studies underway in both solid tumors and hematological malignancies, as a monotherapy and combination therapy in relapsed and front-line disease. The company also is developing a novel G9a program with its next development candidate, EZM8266, which is targeting sickle cell disease. By focusing on the genetic drivers of disease, Epizyme's science seeks to match targeted medicines with the patients who need them. For more information, visit www.epizyme.com (link is external).


Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Epizyme, Inc. and other statements containing the words "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "predict," "project," "target," "potential," "will," "would," "could," "should," "continue," and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including: uncertainties relating to the company’s ability to resume enrollment in its tazemetostat trials and the timing of such resumption, and the impact of safety findings on enrollment of patients in ongoing and future trials of tazemetostat following the lifting of the partial clinical hold and the resumption of enrollment; uncertainties inherent in the initiation of future clinical studies and in the availability and timing of data from ongoing clinical studies; whether interim results from a clinical trial will be predictive of the final results of the trial; whether results from preclinical studies or earlier clinical studies will be predictive of the results of future trials; whether results from clinical studies will warrant meetings with regulatory authorities, submissions for regulatory approval or review by governmental authorities under the accelerated approval process; whether Fast Track Designation and Orphan Drug Designations will provide the benefits for which tazemetostat is eligible; expectations for regulatory approvals to conduct trials or to market products; whether the company's cash resources will be sufficient to fund the company's foreseeable and unforeseeable operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements; other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of the company's therapeutic candidates; and other factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of the company's most recent Form 10-Q filed with the SEC and in the company's other filings from time to time with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the company's views as of the date hereof and should not be relied upon as representing the company's views as of any date subsequent to the date hereof. The company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the company's views to change. However, while the company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so.


Contacts Media:

Sarah Soetbeer
Boehringer Ingelheim
press@boehringer-ingelheim.com
Tel.: +49 (6132) 77-183874
Mobil: +49 (175) 9059820

Erin Graves
Epizyme, Inc.
media@epizyme.com
617-500-0615

Investors:
Monique Allaire
THRUST Strategic Communications
monique@thrustsc.com
617-895-9511

   
Record changed: 2018-11-23

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