Epizyme Scientists Detail Epigenetic Approaches to Cancer Therapy in Drug Discovery Today: Therapeutic Strategies and Current Opinion in Chemical Biology
Papers Detail the Emergence of Histone Methyltransferases (HMTs) as an Important Epigenetic Target Class
Cambridge, MA, July 16, 2010 - Epizyme, Inc., a company leading the discovery and development of first-in-class, targeted cancer therapeutics against epigenetic targets, announced today the publication of two new review papers in the area of epigenetics. Together, the articles provide an overview of the major epigenetic enzyme classes, as well as chemical biology approaches for discovering small molecule inhibitors of these epigenetic enzymes, and demonstrate Epizyme's scientific leadership in the area of epigenetics. The article titled "Targeting epigenetic enzymes for drug discovery" appeared in the July 2010 issue of Current Opinion in Chemical Biology, and the article titled "Epigenetic approaches to cancer therapy" was published in the Summer 2010 issue of Drug Discovery Today: Therapeutic Strategies.
Epizyme's drug programs each selectively target a member of the histone methyltransferase (HMT) family, an important epigenetic enzyme class. HMTs play an important role in signaling to cells to either turn on or turn off transcription of particular genes that are involved in serious diseases, including cancer.
“These papers highlight the growing importance of epigenetic therapeutics in cancer, metabolic disease, inflammation and other therapeutic areas and demonstrate Epizyme’s leadership in this field,” said Dr. Robert Copeland, EVP of R&D and CSO. "We are committed to advancing the field of epigenetics and realizing the particular promise of HMT inhibitors as novel therapeutics."
"The importance of epigenetic therapeutics to cancer treatment has been demonstrated by the regulatory approval and clinical use of histone deacetylase (HDAC) and DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) inhibitors," said Dr. Victoria Richon, Vice President of Biological Sciences at Epizyme. "HMT inhibitors are an emerging class of epigenetic therapeutics with the potential to reprogram aberrant gene expression, affect multiple cancer pathways and overcome redundancy of tumor cell survival mechanisms. Many HMT targets have strong genetic disease associations, and there is the opportunity to develop innovative new therapeutics along with companion diagnostics to treat well-defined and identifiable patient groups. We believe this approach is the future of cancer treatment."
Epizyme is leading the discovery and development of a new class of drugs for the treatment of cancer patients and other significant unmet medical needs based on breakthroughs in the field of epigenetics. Our accomplished team of pharmaceutical scientists and leaders is building a pipeline of drug programs, each of which selectively target a member of the histone methyltransferase (HMT) family, an important epigenetic enzyme class. Epigenetic enzymes are strongly associated with the underlying causes of multiple human diseases. www.epizyme.com
MacDougall Biomedical Communications