The Preferred Biotech Resource in Asia-Pacific
Vol 19, No 07, July 2015
Biotech in China
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BIOBOARD - JAPAN
Eisai signs agreement with Epizyme and Roche Molecular Systems to develop companion diagnostic
Eisai Co., Ltd. signed an agreement with Epizyme, Inc. and Roche Molecular Systems Inc. to collaborate on the development of a companion diagnostic to help Eisai and Epizyme identify patients for their research on lymphomas. Specifically, the new companion diagnostic will further enable Eisai and Epizyme to advance personalized therapeutics for patients with lymphomas possessing genetic mutations in the epigenetic enzyme EZH2.

Since April 2011, Eisai has collaborated with Epizyme under a strategic partnership agreement focused on the development of cancer therapies that target EZH2 and been engaging in research aimed at the creation of such therapies. As demonstrated in a recent study conducted by Epizyme, an EZH2 inhibitor has been shown to eradicate lymphoma cells possessing change-of-function mutation in EZH2. The results of this study suggest that EZH2 is a driving oncogene in these cancers and therefore an important therapeutic target.

In parallel with the clinical development of this EZH2 inhibitor, Eisai and Epizyme are working with RMS, a company with strengths in the development and commercialization of companion diagnostics, to develop a companion diagnostic to identify a genetically defined subset of patients with lymphoma to proceed with effective clinical development.

Remarkable progress has been made in recent years in the field of oncology regarding genetics research. By maximizing full utilization of internal and external information obtained from cutting-edge research in human biology, including a drug creation approach based in genetics and epigenetics, Eisai will continue to contribute to advances in personalized therapeutics for patients with cancer.

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