Anticancer Agent “Tazverik Tablets 200mg” (Tazemetostat Hydrobromide) Approved In Japan For EZH2 Gene Mutation-positive Follicular Lymphoma

TOKYO, Jun 23, 2021 – (JCN Newswire via SEAPRWire.com) – Eisai Co., Ltd. announced today that it has obtained manufacturing and marketing approval for the EZH2 inhibitor “Tazverik Tablets 200 mg” (tazemetostat hydrobromide) in Japan with the indication of relapsed or refractory EZH2 gene mutation-positive follicular lymphoma (only when standard treatment is not applicable).

This approval is based on the results of a multicenter, open-label, single-arm clinical phase II trial (Study 206)(1) in Japan conducted by Eisai and other studies(2) conducted by Epizyme, Inc. (Headquarters: Massachusetts, United States) outside Japan. Study 206 enrolled patients with EZH2 gene mutation- positive, primarily follicular lymphoma, who had relapsed or were refractory. The primary endpoint of this study was objective response rate (ORR), and secondary endpoints included safety. This study achieved the primary endpoint target and exceeded a prespecified tumor response threshold with statistical significance: ORR in patients with EZH2 mutation-positive relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (n=17) was 76.5% (90% confidence interval (CI): 53.9-91.5) as measured by independent review.

Treatment-emergent adverse events (incidence of 25% or more) observed in this study were dysgeusia (52.9%), nasopharyngitis (35.3%), lymphopenia (29.4%) and blood creatine phosphokinase increased (29.4%). Eisai will conduct a post-marketing special use results survey (all-case surveillance) in all patients who are administered “Tazverik” until a pre-determined number of patients has been reached in accordance with an approval condition imposed by the MHLW.

Created by utilizing Epizyme’s proprietary product platform, “Tazverik” is a first-in-class small molecule inhibitor of the epigenetic enzyme EZH2. It is one of the histone methyltransferases in the epigenetics- related protein group, and is thought to regulate the expression of cancer-related genes and suppress the growth of cancer cells by specifically targeting EZH2, which contributes to the cancer growth process.(3) Eisai is responsible for the development and commercialization of this agent in Japan, while Epizyme, Inc. is responsible for all regions outside of Japan. In the United States, “Tazverik” received accelerated approval for the indication of epithelioid sarcoma in January 2020, and follicular lymphoma in June 2020.

Follicular lymphoma is a low-grade B-cell lymphoma that accounts for 10-20% of non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas. Follicular lymphoma is generally indolent and sensitive to chemotherapy. However, development of a new treatment strategy is required for follicular lymphoma which still remains difficult to cure, as recurrence often occurs repeatedly. 7-27% of follicular lymphomas are reported to have gain-of- function mutations in the EZH2 gene,(4),(5) and it is estimated that there are approximately 600 to 2,400 patients with follicular lymphoma with EZH2 gene mutations in Japan. A companion diagnostic test for EZH2 gene mutations, “cobas EZH2 Mutation Test” by Roche Diagnostics K.K. (Headquarters: Tokyo) was approved in May 2021.

Eisai aims to make continuous efforts to meet the diversified needs of and increase the benefits provided to patients with cancer, their families, and healthcare professionals, by delivering “Tazverik” as a new treatment option for EZH2 gene mutation-positive follicular lymphoma.

Media Inquiries:
Public Relations Department
Eisai Co., Ltd.
+81-(0)3-3817-5120

(1) Shinya Rai, et al. Phase 2 Study of Tazemetostat in Japanese patients with Relapsed or Refractory EZH2 mutation-positive B-cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. AACR Meet. 2021, CT176.
(2) Franck Morschhauser, et al. Tazemetostat for patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma: an open-label, single-arm, multicentre, phase 2 trial. The Lancet Oncology. 2020 Nov; 21(11):1433-1442.
(3) Sarah K. Knutson, Satoshi Kawano, Yukinori Minoshima, et al. Selective Inhibition of EZH2 by EPZ-6438 Leads to Potent Antitumor Activity in EZH2-Mutant Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. 2014 Apr; 13(4):842-854.
(4) Csaba Bodor, et al. EZH2 mutations are frequent and represent an early event in follicular lymphoma. Blood, 2013 Oct; 122(18), 3165-3168.
(5) Ryan D. Morin, et al. Somatic mutation of EZH2 (Y641) in Follicular and Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphomas of Germinal Center Origin. Nat Genet. 2010
February; 42(2): 181-185.

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