Epizyme Inc., a Cambridge company looking to develop personalized therapeutics for patients with genetically defined cancers, said Wednesday that it has received $4 million in milestone payments from collaborator GlaxoSmithKline.
Last year, Epizyme and the British drug maker formed an alliance to develop and market small molecule therapeutics targeting histone methyltransferases, or HMTs, a class of epigenetic enzymes, for the treatment of cancer and other diseases.
In a press release, Epizyme said that since the formation of the alliance, it has received a total of $8 million in milestone payments from GSK. Epizyme also received a $20 million upfront payment from GSK when the two companies first decided to work together. If all milestones are achieved over the lifetime of the alliance, Epizyme has the potential to earn $630 million in payments from GSK.
Commenting on the $4 million in milestone payments that Epizyme announced Wednesday, Epizyme chief scientific officer Robert Copeland said in a statement, “This achievement reflects the rapid continued progress of our alliance with GSK and the power of Epizyme’s platform to create small molecule histone methyltransferase inhibitors (HMTi) as personalized therapeutics for patients with genetically defined diseases.”