Pharma Focus Asia

Epizyme and HUTCHMED Announce Strategic Collaboration to Develop and Commercialize TAZVERIK® (tazemetostat) in Greater China

Monday, August 09, 2021

Epizyme, Inc., a fully integrated, commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company developing and delivering novel epigenetic therapies, and HUTCHMED (China) Limited, today announce a collaboration to research, develop, manufacture and commercialize TAZVERIK® in Greater China, including mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan (the “Territory”).

TAZVERIK® is a methyltransferase inhibitor of EZH2 developed by Epizyme that is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) for the treatment of certain patients with epithelioid sarcoma (“ES”) and certain patients with follicular lymphoma (“FL”). It was approved under FDA accelerated approval based on overall response rate (“ORR”) and duration of response (“DOR”) in January and June 2020 for ES and FL, respectively.

“We are thrilled to be able to launch this collaboration designed to bring TAZVERIK® to patients in Greater China and to have HUTCHMED participate in the global development of TAZVERIK®,” commented Mr. Robert Bazemore, Epizyme President and CEO. “HUTCHMED is an ideal partner for us in Greater China, given their development and commercial expertise and shared commitment to expanding the value of TAZVERIK® through new clinical trials that complement Epizyme’s development plans.” Mr. Bazemore continued, “Through this collaboration we anticipate TAZVERIK® to become the first EZH2 inhibitor brought to market in Greater China, and we believe the involvement of HUTCHMED in the global development of TAZVERIK® can allow for a more rapid, resource-efficient, and geographically inclusive development plan for the U.S. confirmatory EZH-302 trial of TAZVERIK® in second line follicular lymphoma (2L FL) in combination with Revlimid plus rituximab (‘R²’).”

“We view the activity of TAZVERIK® and its epigenetic mechanism in controlling the expression of certain genes as highly complementary and potentially synergistic with our broad portfolio of novel oncology assets,” said Mr. Christian Hogg, CEO of HUTCHMED. “TAZVERIK®’s potential for broad applicability and favorable safety profile may provide further inhibition of tumor growth and metastasis when used in combination therapy. This collaboration will accelerate the exploration of the clinical potential of EZH2 inhibition in multiple tumor types, including both hematological malignancies and solid tumors. We believe that Epizyme and HUTCHMED are uniquely positioned to realize these opportunities and thereby rapidly benefit as many patients, both inside and outside China, as possible.”

Under the terms of the agreement, HUTCHMED will be responsible for the development and commercialization of TAZVERIK® in greater China. Epizyme will receive a US$25 million upfront payment and is eligible to receive up to an additional US$110 million in development and regulatory milestone payments, across up to eight potential indications, and up to an additional US$175 million in sales milestone payments. Epizyme is also eligible to receive tiered royalties of mid -teen to low-twenties-percent based on annual net sales of TAZVERIK® in Greater China. In addition, HUTCHMED receives a four-year warrant to acquire up to US$65 million of Epizyme shares at US$11.50 per share. The upfront payment will be funded by HUTCHMED from existing cash resources, and potential milestone payments and royalties are expected to be funded from future cash resources including cash from the sales of TAZVERIK®.

HUTCHMED plans to develop and seek approval for TAZVERIK® in various hematological and solid tumors, including ES, FL and diffuse large b-cell lymphoma (“DLBCL”) in its Territory. HUTCHMED will also participate in Epizyme’s global registrational study of TAZVERIK® in combination with R² in second line FL, the EZH-302 study, and lead the study in Greater China. The parties also intend to conduct additional global studies jointly. HUTCHMED will generally be responsible for funding all clinical trials of TAZVERIK® in its Territory including the portion of global trials conducted therein. Upon any approvals HUTCHMED will be responsible for commercialization in its designated Territory. HUTCHMED will also hold rights to research and manufacture TAZVERIK® in the Territory.

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