There is little doubt that 2014 will be
a banner year for next-generation epigenetics companies, with key clinical data
expected for next-generation drugs and first-generation candidates
that target new epigenetic regulators. But the big biotech and pharma companies
that carved up the space in recent years might have clinical data even sooner,
as the American Society of Hematology meeting in December should provide a window into at
least two candidates in hematologic
New compounds for new targets
Researchers started linking new classes
of epigenetic regulators to the pathology of many human diseases over a decade
ago, particularly in genetically defined subsets of cancers.
Attention to the old
Companies working in the other segment of
the epigenetics space are focused on developing compounds that have better
safety and efficacy than first-generation drugs that inhibit HDACs or DNA
methyltransferases. The hope is that these second-generation compounds will be
more amenable for use in combination therapy and have applicability to a
broader range of diseases, including those outside the oncology space.
The heightened degree of industry
interest in the epigenetics space also has resulted in the formation of several
new companies in recent years. These include Rodin Therapeutics Inc., Syros Pharmaceuticals Inc., Tensha Therapeutics Inc. and Zenith Epigenetics Corp.
Lou, K.-J. SciBX 6(40); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1118 Published online
Oct. 17, 2013
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AND INSTITUTIONS MENTIONED
Acetylon Pharmaceuticals Inc., Boston, Mass.
American Society of Hematology, Washington, D.C.
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass.
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Mass.
Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ:CELG), Summit, N.J.
Constellation Pharmaceuticals Inc., Cambridge, Mass.
Eisai Co. Ltd. (Tokyo:4523; Osaka:4523), Tokyo, Japan
Epizyme Inc. (NASDAQ:EPZM), Cambridge, Mass.
Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, Calif.
GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE:GSK; NYSE:GSK), London, U.K.
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), New Brunswick, N.J.
La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology, La Jolla, Calif.
Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK), Whitehouse Station, N.J.
Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:MLNM), Cambridge,
Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan
Resverlogix Corp. (TSX:RVX), Calgary, Alberta, Canada
(SIX:ROG; OTCQX:RHHBY), Basel, Switzerland
The Rockefeller University, New York, N.Y.
Rodin Therapeutics Inc., Cambridge, Mass.
Structural Genomics Consortium, Oxford, U.K.
Syndax Pharmaceuticals Inc., Waltham, Mass.
Syros Pharmaceuticals Inc., Watertown, Mass.
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (Tokyo:4502), Osaka, Japan
Tensha Therapeutics Inc., Cambridge, Mass.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, N.Y.
Zenith Epigenetics Corp., Calgary, Alberta, Canada