Epizyme, Inc., a company leading the discovery and development of first-in-class, targeted cancer therapeutics against epigenetic targets, today announced that it has been awarded $733,437 in grants under the IRS Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project (QTDP). The grants are for three of Epizyme’s drug discovery programs focused on histone methyltransferases (HMTs): DOT1L, EZH2 and WHSC1. HMTs play an important role in regulating transcription of particular groups of genes that are involved in serious diseases, including cancer.
“The QTDP grants further enable Epizyme’s development of personalized therapeutics for genetically-defined cancer patients who are not adequately treated with current treatment approaches,” said Robert Gould, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are rapidly advancing our pipeline of proprietary therapeutic product programs and generating new programs with novel composition of matter from our proprietary drug discovery platform. We are pleased to have the additional resources provided by these grants.”
The grant program allows biotechnology companies to claim a credit for 50% of investments in qualifying therapeutic discovery projects for tax year 2009 and 2010, or a grant for the same amount tax-free. The credit is a tax benefit targeted to therapeutic discovery projects that show a reasonable potential to:
- Result in new therapies to treat areas of unmet medical need or prevent, detect or treat chronic or acute diseases and conditions,
- Reduce the long-term growth of health care costs in the United States, or
- Significantly advance the goal of curing cancer within 30 years.
Epizyme is leading the discovery and development of small molecule histone methyltransferase (HMT) inhibitors, a new class of targeted therapeutics for the treatment of genetically-defined cancer patients based on breakthroughs in the field of epigenetics. Genetic alterations in HMTs are strongly associated with the underlying causes of multiple human diseases, including cancer. Epizyme’s approach represents the future of personalized therapeutics by creating better medicines for the right patients more quickly and at lower cost than traditional approaches. www.epizyme.com
Jennifer Conrad or Chris Erdman