Current Chief Executive Officer, Robert Bazemore, to Step Down; Current Board Member, Grant Bogle, Named Incoming CEO
Epizyme, Inc. (Nasdaq: EPZM), a fully integrated, commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company developing and delivering novel epigenetic therapies today announced its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) succession plan, with industry veteran Grant Bogle succeeding Robert Bazemore, as President and CEO. Mr. Bazemore will move into an active consultancy role, serving as an advisor to the Company, and in particular to Mr. Bogle, for the next 12 months to ensure a smooth transition. Mr. Bogle will continue to serve as a member of Epizyme’s Board of Directors. The succession is effective August 9, 2021.
“Since 2015, the Epizyme Board has trusted me to lead the Company through a critical period, including the clinical development and FDA approvals for TAZVERIK in two separate indications, launching TAZVERIK during a global pandemic and positioning our pipeline to deliver additional TAZVERIK indications and new early-stage programs like EZM-0414, our novel SETD2 inhibitor,” said Robert Bazemore, President and Chief Executive Officer of Epizyme. “Our strategic vision that was rolled out earlier this year remains clear: expand TAZVERIK commercial adoption globally while executing the next phase of the Company’s growth. With the Board’s support, I feel the time is right to hand the reins over to Grant and I am excited to work closely with him to achieve Epizyme’s vision.”
Following the two approvals of TAZVERIK in the U.S. and finalization of the next five-year growth strategy for the Company, Mr. Bazemore felt that this represented an opportunity for a new CEO to lead the Company’s next phase of growth, with a particular focus on commercial expansion of TAZVERIK. This transition, as initiated by Mr. Bazemore, allows him to redirect his time and energy toward other areas of his life that have become a priority for him, personally.
Mr. Bogle joined Epizyme’s Board in 2019, bringing deep oncology and senior leadership experience ahead of the approval and launch of TAZVERIK. His appointment to CEO signifies the importance of the first pillar of the Company’s five-year vision: maximizing the adoption of TAZVERIK as a backbone of therapy in Epithelioid Sarcoma (ES) and Follicular Lymphoma (FL), while continuing to broaden its portfolio through new potential TAZVERIK indications and bringing novel epigenetic treatments into clinical development. Importantly, Mr. Bogle brings to his new role significant commercial experience in challenging, competitive markets and has a deep understanding of the oncology provider market.
“Thanks to the leadership of Rob and the hard work of everyone at Epizyme, an incredible foundation has been laid that is positively impacting the lives of FL and ES patients in the U.S. today,” said Mr. Bogle. “I speak from personal experience that when you look back on your career, there is nothing more satisfying than knowing you helped deliver groundbreaking therapies to patients in need. Together with the incredible Epizyme team, I will work tirelessly to accelerate the adoption of TAZVERIK in its approved indications and maximize the Company’s portfolio by continuing to advance novel epigenetic programs into the clinic.”
Prior to joining Epizyme, Mr. Bogle served as Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of TESARO, which was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) in 2019, where he oversaw the build-up of the U.S. commercial organization and led the launch of three products, including TESARO’s ZEJULA® (niraparib) for ovarian cancer. He was also responsible for TESARO’s global commercial strategy. Earlier, he served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, leading the commercialization of VELCADE® (bortezomib) and establishing it as a foundational therapy in multiple myeloma.
Mr. Bogle also served as Senior Vice President of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Solutions at McKesson Specialty Health, where he led numerous businesses that worked closely with oncology-focused companies to engage, educate and support oncologists and patients to access and appropriately utilize their medications. Prior to the acquisition by McKesson, he was part of the executive leadership team of US Oncology and held roles that allowed him to work directly with the senior physician leadership of The US Oncology Network, which includes some of the largest oncology practices in the country, providing first-hand insight into how physicians make clinical decisions and how payor policies, pathways and operational work-flow impact therapy selection.
David M. Mott, an Epizyme Board member since 2009 and current Chairman said, “On behalf of the entire Board of Directors at Epizyme, we welcome Grant into the CEO role. Grant’s extensive commercial expertise, track record of strategic execution and commitment to Epizyme, as demonstrated by his role on the Board, make him well suited to lead the Company forward. We thank Rob for his years of dedication to leading Epizyme through a number of critical milestones to the commercial stage company it is today, and we are confident that with Rob’s support through this transition, Grant will be successful in leading Epizyme through this next phase of growth.”
Conference Call Information
In a separate press release issued today, August 9, 2021, Epizyme announced its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2021. The Company will host a conference call and webcast today at 8:30 a.m. E.T. to discuss its second quarter 2021 financial results, as well as the CEO succession plan. To participate in the conference call, please dial (877) 844-6886 (domestic) or (970) 315-0315 (international) and refer to conference ID 3658407. A webcast will be available in the investor section of the Company's website at www.epizyme.com, and will be archived for 60 days following the call.
About Epizyme, Inc.
Epizyme, Inc. is a fully integrated, commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to its mission of rewriting treatment for cancer and other serious diseases through novel epigenetic medicines. In addition to an active research and discovery pipeline, Epizyme has one U.S. FDA approved product, TAZVERIK® (tazemetostat), for the treatment of adults and pediatric patients aged 16 years and older with metastatic or locally advanced epithelioid sarcoma (ES) who are not eligible for complete resection; adult patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) whose tumors are positive for an EZH2 mutation as detected by an FDA-approved test and who have received at least two prior systemic therapies; and adult patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma who have no satisfactory alternative treatment options. These indications are approved under accelerated approval based on overall response rate and duration of response. Continued approval for these indications may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trial(s). The Company is also exploring the treatment potential of tazemetostat in investigational clinical trials in other solid tumors and hematological malignancies, as a monotherapy and combination therapy in both relapsed and front-line disease settings. By focusing on the genetic drivers of disease, Epizyme seeks to match medicines with the patients who need them. For more information, visit www.epizyme.com.
About TAZVERIK® (tazemetostat)
TAZVERIK® is a methyltransferase inhibitor indicated for the treatment of:
- Adults and pediatric patients aged 16 years and older with metastatic or locally advanced epithelioid sarcoma not eligible for complete resection.
- Adult patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma whose tumors are positive for an EZH2 mutation as detected by an FDA-approved test and who have received at least two prior systemic therapies.
- Adult patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma who have no satisfactory alternative treatment options.
These indications are approved under accelerated approval based on overall response rate and duration of response. Continued approval for these indications may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials.
The most common (≥20%) adverse reactions in patients with epithelioid sarcoma are pain, fatigue, nausea, decreased appetite, vomiting and constipation. The most common (≥20%) adverse reactions in patients with follicular lymphoma are fatigue, upper respiratory tract infection, musculoskeletal pain, nausea and abdominal pain.
View the U.S. Full Prescribing Information here: Epizyme.com
Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements
Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Epizyme, Inc. and other statements containing the words “anticipate," “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “target,” “potential,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “continue,” and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including: whether the CEO succession described in the release will be successful; whether commercial sales of TAZVERIK for epithelioid sarcoma and follicular lymphoma in the approved indications will be successful; whether the refinement of the company’s commercial strategy and cost reductions will achieve the company’s objectives; whether tazemetostat will receive marketing approval for epithelioid sarcoma or follicular lymphoma in other jurisdictions, full approval in the United States or approval in any other indication; whether results from preclinical studies or earlier clinical trials will be predictive of the results of future trials, such as the ongoing confirmatory trials; whether results from clinical trials will warrant meetings with regulatory authorities, submissions for regulatory approval or review by governmental authorities under the accelerated approval process; whether the company will receive regulatory approvals, including accelerated approval, to conduct trials or to market products; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the company’s business, results of operations and financial condition; whether the company's cash resources will be sufficient to fund the company’s foreseeable and unforeseeable operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements; other matters that could affect the availability or commercial success of tazemetostat; and other factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of the company’s most recent Form 10-K or Form 10-Q filed with the SEC and in the company's other filings from time to time with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the company’s views as of the date hereof and should not be relied upon as representing the company’s views as of any date subsequent to the date hereof. The company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the company’s views to change. However, while the company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so.