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Pharmaceuticals

Epizyme Signs
 With Glaxo Drug Program

by Rick Mullin
January 17, 2011 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 89, ISSUE 3

Epizyme and GlaxoSmithKline formed an alliance to discover, develop, and market novel small-molecule therapeutics targeting histone methyltransferases (HMTs), a class of epigenetic enzymes, for treatment of cancer and other diseases. The companies will use Epizyme’s discovery platform and chemical library. Under the terms of the agreement, Epizyme will receive an up-front payment of $20 million, as well as research funding, and is also eligible for milestone payments of up to $630 million. Epigenetic enzymes are a class of proteins that regulate whether genes are turned off or on. Targeting specific HMTs with small-molecule therapeutics could allow control of gene expression pathways that contribute to diseases.

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