Ipsen Expands Oncology Portfolio with $247 Million Epizyme Acquisition

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Ipsen will acquire Epizyme, who recently had their lead medicine Tazverik (tazemetostat) approved by FDA for treatment of relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma.

Ipsen, a biopharmaceutical company, announced that it had entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Epizyme, a biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology, on June 27, 2022. The $247 million deal will grant Ipsen access to Epizyme’s oncology portfolio, including their lead medicine Tazverik (tazemetostat), which was granted accelerated approval by FDA in 2020 as a treatment for relapsed or refractory (R/R) follicular lymphoma (FL).

Tazemetostat is an enhancer of zeste 2 polycomb repressive complex 2 subunit (EZH2) inhibitor indicated for:

  • R/R FL patients whose tumors are positive for EZH2 mutation
  • R/R FL patients who have no satisfactory alternatives
  • Patients 16 years or older with metastatic or locally advanced epithelioid sarcoma not eligible for complete resection.

According to a company press release, tazemetostat is currently in Phase III of a registrational confirmatory study in combination with rituximab and lenalidomide in patients with R/R FL who have received at least one prior therapy. Results from this study are expected to be read out in 2026.

As part of the deal, Ipsen will also acquire Epizyme’s oral suvar, enhancer of zeste, trithorax-domain containing 2 (SETD2) inhibitor development candidate, EZM0414. EZM0414 was granted fast track status by FDA and is currently under evaluation in a recently initiated Phase I/Ib trial in adult patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, as well as various preclinical programs focusing on epigenetic targets.

“Ipsen’s capabilities and resources in oncology combined with Epizyme’s will accelerate the growth of [tazemetostat] to achieve its full potential in [FL] patients,” said David Loew, CEO, Ipsen, in a company press release. “The strength of data support [tazemetostat’s] positioning in patients with both EZH2 mutation positive and wild-type [FL]. We are compelled by the potential of its efficacy and tolerability profile, especially for elderly and/or frail patients who are treated in the community-based setting. Furthermore, we are excited to bring on board epigenetic expertise and the SETD2 inhibitor, as well as several preclinical compounds into our portfolio.”

“I am incredibly proud of what our team has accomplished over the past 15 years, from the approval of [tazemetostat] to advancing our next novel investigational agent, EZM0414, to the clinic, as well as the progress made on our preclinical compounds focused on both hematologic malignancies and solid tumors,” said Grant Bogle, president and CEO, Epizyme, in the press release. “We expect that this acquisition and Ipsen’s commitment to invest in the oncology space will ensure our epigenetic pipeline continues to advance in a way we could not have done on our own to bring transformative cancer therapies to patients in need.”

Source: Ipsen