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Boehringer Ingelheim and Epizyme will collaborate in the field of cancer drugs

Boehringer Ingelheim and Epizyme, Inc. will collaborate in the field of small molecule cancer drugs

Boehringer Ingelheim and Epizyme, Inc. will collaborate in the field of small molecule cancer drugs that target unaddressed epigenetic targets within the helicase and histone acetyltransferase families.

According to Boehringer Ingelheim, more than half of cancers can stem from functional errors in epigenetic modification, which diagnostically characterise the patient population that may benefit from a therapy directed against the epigenetic target.

The collaboration aims to develop and market lung cancer and other solid tumour meds in patients with defined mutations, particularly within sub-populations that currently lack precision medicine treatments. Under the terms of the agreement, Boehringer Ingelheim and Epizyme will co-develop a helicase programme and US commercialisation rights, while BI will commercialise resulting drugs outside the US. Epizyme and Boehringer Ingelheim will share research responsibilities for the histone acetyltransferase programme, with Boehringer Ingelheim assuming responsibility for worldwide development and commercialisation. Epizyme is eligible to receive tiered royalties on worldwide sales.

Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) will pay Epizyme US$15m upfront and US$5m in R&D payments in 2019. Potential milestone payments may sum up to US$280m.

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