Pharmacology and pharmacokinetics of tazemetostat

Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2024 May;93(5):509-517. doi: 10.1007/s00280-024-04658-4. Epub 2024 Mar 23.


Tazemetostat, a novel oral selective inhibitor of enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2020 for use in patients with advanced epithelioid sarcoma or relapsed/refractory (R/R) EZH2-mutated follicular lymphoma. These indications were approved by the FDA trough accelerated approval based on objective response rate and duration of response that resulted from phase 2 clinical trials. Tazemetostat competes with S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) cofactor to inhibit EZH2, reducing the levels of trimethylated lysine 27 of histone 3 (H3K27me3), considered as pharmacodynamic marker. Tazemetostat is orally bioavailable, characterized by rapid absorption and dose-proportional exposure, which is not influenced by coadministration with food or gastric acid reducing agents. It highly distributes in tissues, but with limited access to central nervous system. Tazemetostat is metabolized by CYP3A in the liver to 3 major inactive metabolites (M1, M3, and M5), has a short half-life and is mainly excreted in feces. Drug-drug interactions were shown with moderate CYP3A inhibitors as fluconazole, leading the FDA to recommend a 50% dose reduction, while studies investigating coadministration of tazemetostat with strong inhibitors/inducers are ongoing. No dosage modifications are recommended based on renal or hepatic dysfunctions. Overall, tazemetostat is the first-in-class EZH2 inhibitor approved by the FDA for cancer treatment. Current clinical studies are evaluating combination therapies in patients with several malignancies.

Keywords: EPZ-6438; Pharmacokinetics; Pharmacology; Tazemetostat; Tazverik.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Benzamides*
  • Biphenyl Compounds* / administration & dosage
  • Biphenyl Compounds* / pharmacokinetics
  • Biphenyl Compounds* / pharmacology
  • Drug Interactions*
  • Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 Protein / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 Protein / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Morpholines* / administration & dosage
  • Morpholines* / pharmacokinetics
  • Morpholines* / pharmacology
  • Organophosphates / pharmacokinetics
  • Organophosphates / pharmacology
  • Pyridones / administration & dosage
  • Pyridones / pharmacokinetics
  • Pyridones / pharmacology
  • Pyridones / therapeutic use
  • Sulfonamides / administration & dosage
  • Sulfonamides / pharmacokinetics
  • Sulfonamides / pharmacology


  • tazemetostat
  • Morpholines
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Pyridones
  • Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 Protein
  • Sulfonamides
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Organophosphates
  • EZH2 protein, human
  • Benzamides