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Epizyme's Q3 Loss Wider-Than-Expected, Pipeline in Focus

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Epizyme, Inc.EPZM reported a loss of 56 cents per share in the third quarter of 2015, a penny wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 55 cents, but narrower than the year-ago loss of 58 cents.

The company earned collaboration revenues of $0.4 million in the third quarter, compared to $8.2 million in the year-ago period. The decline is due to the completion of a major part of the company's performance obligations under its collaboration agreements. The year-ago quarter also included a $3 million milestone payment.

Research and development expenses were $16.8 million, down 24.5% from the year ago period. General and administrative expenses increased 17.8% year over year to $6.7 million primarily due to increased spending on personnel and increased costs related to patent filings and professional fees.

Pipeline Update

Epizyme's lead pipeline candidate, tazemetostat, is currently in a registration-supporting five-arm phase II monotherapy study on relapsed or refractory B-Cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), prospectively stratified by cell of origin and EZH2 mutational status. Interim data from the study is expected by mid-2016.

Two additional registration-supporting studies in patients with INI1-negative tumors or synovial sarcoma, including a registration-supporting phase II study in adults (to commence in the fourth quarter of 2015) are being planned by the company. A proof-of-concept phase I study in pediatric patients is also slated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Furthermore, the company is planning to initiate various combination studies of tazemetostat in 2016.

Meanwhile, a dose-escalation study on pinometostat in pediatric patients with MLL-r acute leukemia is ongoing with enrollment in the dose escalation cohorts expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Epizyme and Celgene Corp. CELG are exploring the potential to develop pinometostat in combination with other agents based on encouraging preclinical data.

Epizyme continues to expect R&D expenses to increase in 2015 compared to 2014 as the company is now solely responsible for sponsoring tazemetostat studies and related development costs outside Japan. This will be partially offset by lower spend on pinometostat.

Epizyme currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector are Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ICPT and Baxalta Inc. BXLT . Each carries a Zacks Rank#1 (Strong Buy).

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EPIZYME INC (EPZM): Free Stock Analysis Report

CELGENE CORP (CELG): Free Stock Analysis Report

BAXALTA INC (BXLT): Free Stock Analysis Report

INTERCEPT PHARM (ICPT): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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