Ipsen Continues M&A Push with Acquisition of Epizyme


French mid-cap Ipsen has signed an agreement to acquire US-based oncology specialist Epizyme, with its lymphoma drug, Tazverik, for USD 247 million to bolster its growing oncology presence.

Ipsen recently announced that the deal with Epizyme’s will focus on Tazverik (tazemetostat), a first-in-class EZH2a inhibitor approved in the U.S. in 2020 for third-line use in relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma and for patients with metastatic or locally advanced epithelioid sarcoma who are not eligible for complete resection.

“We are compelled by the potential of its efficacy and tolerability profile, especially for elderly and/or frail patients,” said Ipsen CEO David Loew.

The acquisition is the latest in a series of deals struck by Ibsen, including one with BAKX Therapeutics, which was also aimed at strengthening the company’s oncology pipeline now that its top-selling Somatuline for carcinoid syndrome is soon to face generic competition.

“Through this agreement, we will expand our assets in oncology. Ipsen’s capabilities and resources in oncology combined with Epizyme’s will accelerate the growth of Tazverik to achieve its full potential in follicular lymphoma patients, said Loew.

In a 2021 PharmaBoardroom interview, Loew spoke about Ipsen’s oncology strategy: “Our model is to find our niches and be very active and successful in there. In these spaces, there are also not that many truly globally active competitors. Sure, almost every Big Pharma MNC is in oncology but that is not the case for midsized companies.”

Grant Bogle, President and Chief Executive Officer of Epizyme said of the agreement: “We expect that this acquisition and Ipsen’s commitment to invest in the oncology space will ensure our epigenetic pipeline continues to advance in a way we could not have done on our own to bring transformative cancer therapies to patients in need.”

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