Preclinical Study Results Published in the Journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics Show Sustained Efficacy of EZH2 Inhibitor in Animal Models
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Epizyme, Inc. , EPZM+0.81% a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company creating innovative personalized therapeutics for patients with genetically defined cancers, announced today the publication of data from preclinical studies of the company’s clinical candidate EPZ-6438 (E7438), a potent and selective small-molecule inhibitor of EZH2, a histone methyltransferase (HMT). Oncogenic mutations in EZH2 occur in a subset of patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), implicating EZH2 as a therapeutic target in these patients. This research, published online today and in the April issue of the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, provides a preclinical description of EPZ-6438, which Epizyme is developing in partnership with Eisai for the treatment of EZH2 mutant-bearing NHL. The paper expands on data reported by the same authors in a poster presentation at the December 2012 American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting.
“This paper provides a comprehensive description of the preclinical characterization of EPZ-6438 that paved the way for this drug to enter human clinical trials in 2013,” said Robert A. Copeland, Ph.D., executive vice president and chief scientific officer, Epizyme. “It is the first and only EZH2 inhibitor in clinical development to our knowledge. The work is illustrative of the ongoing discovery efforts at Epizyme that are fueling the clinical development of multiple drugs against the HMT target class.”
Key results published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics include:
- Detailed characterization of the correlation between EZH2 inhibition, methylation of the EZH2 target (H3K27), reversal of lymphomagenic gene expression and antiproliferative effects specific to EZH2 mutant-bearing NHL cell lines.
- Sustained tumor growth inhibition in animal models of EZH2 mutant-bearing NHL, including durable effects after drug dosing is discontinued.
- Development of an assay to assess methylation of H3K27 in tumor, bone marrow, peripheral blood mononuclear cells and other surrogate tissues.
- Determination of a quantitative PK/PD relationship using this assay.
The paper titled, “Selective Inhibition of EZH2 by EPZ-6438 Leads to Potent Antitumor Activity in EZH2 Mutant Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma,” was authored by Sarah Knutson and colleagues at Epizyme and Eisai, and is available online at http://mct.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2014/02/20/1535-7163.MCT-13-0773.abstract?sid=d75a9564-0851-47b5-b169-def29f0c0998 .