Biopharmaceutical company Epizyme earned a $10 million milestone payment from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) after the pharma giant launched GLP toxicology studies for a first-in-class methyltransferase inhibitor discovered by Epizyme and licensed to GSK.
The indication of the methyltransferase inhibitor, and its target, were not disclosed.
The milestone payment raises to $69 million the amount Epizyme has received from GSK in up-front, research, and milestone payments since the companies launched their collaboration in 2011.
Epizyme granted GSK exclusive worldwide license rights to small-molecule methyltransferase inhibitors directed against three targets. The methyltransferase inhibitors were discovered and optimized by Epizyme using its proprietary drug discovery platform.
Epizyme was primarily responsible for preclinical research during the now-completed research phase of the collaboration, with GSK now overseeing subsequent research, development, and commercialization of the three programs—for which the pharma retains rights.
The first methyltransferase inhibitor developed under the collaboration, the cancer treatment GSK3326595 (formerly EPZ015938), advanced to clinical studies in September 2016. The protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT 5) inhibitor is being developed for indications that include triple-negative breast cancer, bladder cancer, glioblastoma, and p53 mutant and wild-type non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Epizyme could receive up to an additional $607 million from GSK tied to achieving milestones for all three methyltransferase inhibitors, plus up to double-digit royalties on worldwide net sales of treatments developed through the collaboration.