Epizyme, Inc. (Nasdaq: EPZM), a fully integrated, commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel epigenetic therapies, today announced that the company has appointed Jeffery Kutok, M.D., Ph.D., as chief scientific officer. In this role, Dr. Kutok will direct the company’s scientific strategy, including preclinical research to support the development expansion of TAZVERIK™ (tazemetostat) and the company’s epigenetic pipeline.
“Creating safe and effective anti-cancer treatments that are orally available and can be taken from home has never been more important,” said Robert Bazemore, president and chief executive officer of Epizyme. “Given the profile of TAZVERIK, it is strategically important that we continue our efforts to explore its therapeutic potential in additional indications and combinations. Jeff’s extensive knowledge and insights will be instrumental in helping direct our scientific strategy for TAZVERIK, and in advancing our earlier pipeline across multiple important epigenetic target families, so that we may help as many patients in need as we can.”
Dr. Kutok joins Epizyme from Infinity Pharmaceuticals, where he served as executive vice president and chief scientific officer, responsible for scientific strategy, preclinical development and translational science. Prior to joining Infinity in 2010, Dr. Kutok was an associate professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where his laboratory conducted preclinical and translational medicine research and biomarker identification in oncology. Dr. Kutok has published over 200 journal articles, reviews and book chapters, focused on hematologic malignancies and solid tumors. He received his B.S. in biology and his M.D., Ph.D. in medicine and molecular pathology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. For his post-doctoral training, Dr. Kutok completed a residency in anatomic pathology and hematopathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a research fellowship at Harvard University in the laboratory of Gary Gilliland, M.D., Ph.D., where he studied an epigenetic mechanism of leukemia pathogenesis.
“Having dedicated my career to furthering the field of oncology research, I believe Epizyme has a meaningful opportunity to treat a broad range of cancers through novel epigenetic approaches,” said Dr. Kutok. “Our understanding of these targets, including EZH2, and the roles they can play in oncogenesis, has grown substantially over the years. As part of this team, I am committed to our goals of expanding the therapeutic impact with TAZVERIK and bringing forward additional epigenetic treatments for patients, families and physicians.”
About Epizyme, Inc.
Epizyme, Inc. is a fully integrated, commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to its mission of rewriting treatment for cancer and other serious diseases through novel epigenetic medicines. In addition to an active research and discovery pipeline, Epizyme has one U.S. FDA approved product, TAZVERIK™ (tazemetostat), for the treatment of adults and pediatric patients aged 16 years and older with metastatic or locally advanced epithelioid sarcoma (ES) who are not eligible for complete resection. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on overall response rate and duration of response. Continued approval for this indication is contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in an ongoing confirmatory trial. The company is also exploring the treatment potential of tazemetostat in investigational clinical trials in other solid tumors and hematological malignancies, as a monotherapy and combination therapy in both relapsed and front-line disease settings. By focusing on the genetic drivers of disease, Epizyme seeks to match medicines with the patients who need them. For more information, visit www.epizyme.com.
Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements
Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Epizyme, Inc. and other statements containing the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “target,” “potential,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “continue,” and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including: whether tazemetostat will receive marketing approval for epithelioid sarcoma in other jurisdictions, full approval in the United States or approval in any other indication; whether results from preclinical studies or earlier clinical studies will be predictive of the results of future trials, such as the ongoing confirmatory trial; whether results from clinical studies will warrant meetings with regulatory authorities, submissions for regulatory approval or review by governmental authorities under the accelerated approval process; expectations for regulatory approvals, including accelerated approval, to conduct trials or to market products; whether the company's cash resources will be sufficient to fund the company's foreseeable and unforeseeable operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements; other matters that could affect the availability or commercial success of tazemetostat or the company's therapeutic candidates; and other factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of the company's most recent Form 10-K filed with the SEC and in the company's other filings from time to time with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the company's views as of the date hereof and should not be relied upon as representing the company's views as of any date subsequent to the date hereof. The company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the company's views to change. However, while the company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so.
TAZVERIK™ is a trademark of Epizyme, Inc.
Erin Graves, Epizyme, Inc.