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Epizyme (EPZM) Reports Narrower-Than-Expected Loss in Q3

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Epizyme, Inc. (EPZM - Free Report) incurred a loss of 54 cents per share in the third quarter of 2018, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 60 cents and the year-ago loss of 63 cents.

Shares of the company fell almost 6.3%, following the earnings release. So far this year, the stock has decreased 37.2% compared with the industry’s decline of 16.9%.

Quarter in Detail

With no approved products in its portfolio as of now, Epizyme heavily relies on its collaborators for revenues. The company did not report any collaboration revenues during the quarter.

Research and development (R&D) expenses decreased 6% year over year to $27 million in the quarter. This decline was primarily due to decreased clinical trial expenses and discovery-stage research expenses, offset by an increase in tazemetostat manufacturing costs.

General and administrative (G&A) expenses were $11.5 million in the quarter, up 23.8% from the year-ago period due to increases in pre-commercialization activities and personnel-related expenses.

Epizyme had $180.8 million of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities as of Sep 30, 2018 compared with $307.2 million as of Sep 30, 2017. The company expects its existing cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities to be sufficient to fund its planned operations in the first quarter of 2020.

Pipeline Update

Epizyme presented positive interim data from the fully enrolled epithelioid sarcoma cohort of its ongoing phase II study of its lead pipeline candidate tazemetostat in October. The study showed that oral, twice daily administration of tazemetostat resulted in durable objective responses and encouraging clinically meaningful overall survival in both treatment-naive patients and patients who had been previously treated with an anticancer therapy. The company is on track to submit its new drug application (NDA) for tazemetostat in ES in the first half of 2019, with a path to submission for accelerated approval.

The company also is on track to complete enrollment of follicular lymphoma patients with EZH2 activating mutations by the end of 2018. Epizyme plans to continue engaging with the FDA to refine its registration strategy in follicular lymphoma, and provide an update on its plans in early 2019.

Epizyme, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Epizyme, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Epizyme, Inc. Quote

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Epizyme currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks worth considering are Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY - Free Report) , Eli Lilly and Co. (LLY - Free Report) and Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK - Free Report) . While Bristol-Myers sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Lilly and Merck carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Bristol-Myers’ earnings per share estimates have increased from $3.59 to $3.81 for 2018 and from $3.83 to $4.03 for 2019 over the past 60 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in all of the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 11.99%.

Lilly’s earnings per share estimates have increased from $5.42 to $5.47 for 2018 and from $5.69 to $5.78 for 2019 over the past 60 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in all of the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 10.15%. The stock has rallied 26.4% year to date.

Merck’s earnings per share estimates have increased from $4.26 to $4.34 for 2018 and from $4.58 to $4.71 for 2019 over the past 60 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in all of the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 3.96%. The stock has rallied 28.4% year to date.

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