Local Biotech Company Goes Public

Epizyme Inc, a Cambridge-based cancer drug company, commenced public trading last Friday. The biotech listed its initial public offering at $15 a share on the Nasdaq, under the ticker symbol “EPZM.”

The rapidly-growing oncology company is offering 5.1 million shares, with the IPO expected to raise $88.8 million if all shares are sold. While only four years old, Epizyme has already made significant contributions to the biotech field. The company focuses on developing drugs for patients with genetically-defined cancers, and aims to have multiple drugs on the market in the next several years.

One area targeted by these drugs is HMTs, a type of epigenetic enzyme that regulates human gene expression and has been known to cause cancers and tumors. The company’s first target is an enzyme called DOT1L, which drives a type of leukemia. According to CEO Robert Gould, Epizyme plans to send a drug to the FDA for approval in 2016.

Epizyme is one of the fastest-rising companies in the field of personalized cancer medicine. Before its IPO, the company was valued at $400 million. As of noon last Friday, Epizyme shares were already up 42 percent to $21 a share. (BBJ, Boston Globe)

Jason Rhodes, executive vice president and chief financial officer, and Robert Gould, CEO, Epizyme Inc.