US-based biopharmaceutical company Epizyme has entered into a collaboration agreement with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, to carry out a clinical trial to evaluate the anti-cancer effects of tazemetostat in combination with Tecentriq (atezolizumab) to treat non-hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
Tazemetostat is Epizyme’s clinical-stage EZH2 inhibitor, while Tecentriq is Genentech’s recently approved anti-PD-L1 cancer immunotherapy.
Patients afflicted with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) will be administered with a combination regimen of the two medical products.
Epizyme president and CEO Robert Bazemore said: "A key part of Epizyme’s long-term vision is expanding the benefit that tazemetostat can bring to patients, and includes combining tazemetostat with checkpoint inhibitors.
"We believe this study will be enhanced by our partner’s deep expertise in the field of immuno-oncology.
"This collaboration aligns us with a global leader in oncology and hematology, and advances Epizyme’s leadership position in the development of epigenetic therapeutics."
As part of the deal, Genentech will be responsible for managing the planned clinical trial.
The planned Phase Ib clinical trial will start enrolling patients in the second half of this year.
Tazemetostat is a first-in-class small molecule created by Epizyme based on its patented product platform, and is indicated to treat NHL and certain genetically defined solid tumours
It inhibits EZH2, which is responsible in triggering dysregulation of genes that control cell proliferation, leading to a rapid and unconstrained growth of tumour cells.
Tecentriq recently received accelerated approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for people with a specific type of advanced bladder cancer.