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Epizyme (EPZM) Skyrockets On Milestone Payments And Numbers Expectations

Jan. 07, 2014 1:48 PM ETIPSEY
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Seeking Alpha Analyst Since 2010

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2014/1/7/saupload_epzm.jpg Epizyme, Inc. (EPZM)

Shares of EPZM soared on Tuesday's trading session after the company reported the achievement of the proof of concept (POC) milestone in the EPZ-5676 DOT1L inhibitor clinical program, earning a $25 million payment under the company's collaboration with Celgene Corporation.

The milestone was triggered by objective responses in patients with translocations of the MLL gene (MLL-r). These patients are currently enrolled in the fourth dose cohort in the dose escalation stage of the ongoing Phase 1 clinical study and are receiving uninterrupted treatment with EPZ-5676.

EPZM also said that a development candidate milestone has been achieved for one of the three histone methyltransferase (HMT) targets included in the company's collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), earning a $4 million payment.

Additionally, the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products recommended orphan drug designation for EPZ-5676 to the European Commission in December 2013. EPZ-5676 was granted orphan drug designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May 2013

Including the Celgene POC milestone and the GSK development candidate milestone, EPZM estimates a 2013 end-of-year cash and account receivables position of approximately $145 million versus previous guidance of an end-of-year cash position of more than $115 million.

EPZM is developing EPZ-5676, a small molecule inhibitor of DOT1L created with the company's proprietary product platform, for the treatment of patients with acute leukemia in which the MLL gene is rearranged due to a chromosomal translocation (MLL-r) or a partial tandem duplication (MLL-PTD). Due to these rearrangements, DOT1L is misregulated, resulting in the increased expression of genes causing leukemia.

EPZM believes that EPZ-5676 was the first HMTi to enter human clinical development.


EPZM is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company creating personalized therapeutics for patients with genetically defined cancers.

More about Epizyme, Inc. (EPZM) at www.epizyme.com


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