Eisai Signs Agreement with Epizyme and Roche Molecular Systems t

Eisai Signs Agreement with Epizyme and Roche Molecular Systems to Develop
Companion Diagnostic 
Tokyo, Jan 8, 2013 - (JCN Newswire) - Eisai Co., Ltd. announced today that it
has signed an agreement with Epizyme, Inc. and Roche Molecular Systems Inc.
("RMS") to collaborate on the development of a companion diagnostic
to help Eisai and Epizyme identify patients for their research on lymphomas.
Specifically, the new companion diagnostic will further enable Eisai and
Epizyme to advance personalized therapeutics for patients with lymphomas
possessing genetic mutations in the epigenetic enzyme EZH2. 
Since April 2011, Eisai has collaborated with Epizyme under a strategic
partnership agreement focused on the development of cancer therapies that
target EZH2 and been engaging in research aimed at the creation of such
therapies. As demonstrated in a recent study conducted by Epizyme, an EZH2
inhibitor has been shown to eradicate lymphoma cells possessing
change-of-function mutation in EZH2. The results of this study suggest that
EZH2 is a driving oncogene in these cancers and therefore an important
therapeutic target. 
In parallel with the clinical development of this EZH2 inhibitor, Eisai and
Epizyme are working with RMS, a company with strengths in the development and
commercialization of companion diagnostics, to develop a companion diagnostic
to identify a genetically defined subset of patients with lymphoma to proceed
with effective clinical development. 
Remarkable progress has been made in recent years in the field of oncology
regarding genetics research. By maximizing full utilization of internal and
external information obtained from cutting-edge research in human biology,
including a drug creation approach based in genetics and epigenetics, Eisai
will continue to contribute to advances in personalized therapeutics for
patients with cancer. 
About Epigenetics 
Epigenetics refers to mechanisms that lead to activity or inactivity of
selective genetic functions due to acquired genetic modification not
accompanied by changes in the underlying gene sequence. The term also refers to
the study of such mechanisms. Examples of acquired genetic modification in this
field include changes in gene expression caused by DNA methylation and changes
in genetic expression caused by the chemical modification of amino acids in
histones (methylation, acetylation, phosphorylation, etc.). Dacogen(R)
(decitabine), which is marketed by Eisai in the United States, is a DNA
methylation inhibitor, and is approved in the United States as a therapeutic
agent that contributes to the quality of life of patients living with
myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). 
About EZH2 
EZH2 is one of the proteins that make up the histone methyltransferases (HMTs)
that alter gene expression. EZH2 is known to methylate lysine 27 of the protein
H3 (H3K27), H3 being one of the five major histone groups (H1, H2A, H2B, H3 and
H4) that together help to store DNA in eukaryotic cell nuclei. H3K27
methylation is also known to suppress gene transcription. Recently, several
change-of-function genetic mutations, including Y461, have been reported in
EZH2 in lymphomas. 
About Eisai's Commitment to Personalized Medicine 
Following advances in human biology, initiatives aimed at achievements in
personalized medicine through early development of new drugs and companion
diagnostics based on optimum therapeutic hypotheses are progressing steadily.
Eisai is actively seeking out therapeutic hypotheses linked to personalized
medicine while strengthening networks with scientists at the cutting edge of
their respective fields, and is increasing its sensitivities in regard to
future trends in scientific technology and both in-house and external
inventions and discoveries. At its research subsidiary H3 Biomedicine Inc. in
the Boston area of the United States, for example, Eisai is rising to meet
challenges in targeting new therapeutic hypotheses by identifying strong
potential therapeutic targets through genetics-based approaches to cancer and
the creation of novel anticancer agents using first-in-class compounds.
Furthermore, Eisai has concentrated all functions aimed at possible
developments in this field, from biomarker discovery research to companion
diagnostics development, into its Biomarker and Personalized Medicine Core
Function Unit, and through collaborations with other drug creation units such
as its Oncology Product Creation unit, is continuing endeavors toward further
realizing personalized medicine. 
About Epizyme, Inc. 
Epizyme, Inc. is leading the creation of small molecule histone
methyltransferase inhibitors (HMTi), a new class of personalized therapeutics
for patients with genetically defined cancers. Genetic alterations in HMTs, a
family of epigenetic enzymes, drive multiple human diseases. Its approach
represents the future of healthcare by matching better medicines with the right
patients. 
About Roche 
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused
healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is
the world's largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in
oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world
leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer
in diabetes management. Roche's personalized healthcare strategy aims at
providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in
the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2011, Roche had over
80,000 employees worldwide and invested over 8 billion Swiss francs in R&D.
The Group posted sales of 42.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States,
is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in
Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information:http://www.roche.com/. 
About Eisai 
Eisai Co., Ltd. (TSE: 4523; ADR: ESALY) is a research-based human health care
(hhc) company that discovers, develops and markets products throughout the
world. Eisai focuses its efforts in three therapeutic areas: integrative
neuroscience, including neurology and psychiatric medicines; integrative
oncology, which encompasses oncotherapy and supportive-care treatments; and
vascular/immunological reaction. Through a global network of research
facilities, manufacturing sites and marketing subsidiaries, Eisai actively
participates in all aspects of the worldwide healthcare system. For more
information about Eisai Co., Ltd., please visit www.eisai.com. 
Contact: 
Eisai Co., Ltd.
Public Relations Department
+81-3-3817-5120 
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