Shares of Epizyme, Inc. (EPZM) were up 8.3% after the company announced the achievement of the third of three histone methyltransferase (:HMT) targets, which were included in the company's collaboration agreement with GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK). The achievement led to Epizyme earning a milestone payment of $4 million.
We note that Epizyme entered into an agreement with Glaxo in Jan 2011 to discover, develop and commercialize novel small molecule HMT inhibitors. As per the deal, Glaxo has the option to obtain global exclusive rights to HMT inhibitors directed to three targets. As per the terms of the deal, Epizyme is responsible for research of the selected targets in the collaboration until the selection of the development candidate. For the subsequent development and commercialization, Glaxo is solely responsible
Epizyme earned a milestone payment of $4 million from Glaxo in Jan 2014 for achieving the first Glaxo collaboration target. Thereafter, in Feb 2014, Epizyme earned a $2 million milestone payment from Glaxo for achieving lead candidate selection with respect to the second of these HMT targets.
Epizyme has thereby achieved all the lead candidate selection milestone payments from Glaxo. All the three potential therapeutic candidates are now identified for the Glaxo collaboration targets.
Epizyme carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) while Glaxo carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors looking for better-ranked stocks in the biopharma sector may consider companies like Amgen (AMGN) and Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SCMP). Sucampo carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) while Amgen holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).