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Histone Methyltransferases: Global Markets for Research Tools, Diagnostics and Drug Discovery

  • March 2013
  • -
  • BCC Research
  • -
  • 164 pages


Table of Contents




This BCC Research report, Histone Methyltransferases: Global Markets for Research Tools, Diagnostics and Drug Discovery, provides an overview of the current overall state of the histone methyltransferases market, focusing specifically on tools and reagents, drug discovery trends and diagnostic potential. It describes existing platforms and technologies on the market, and a detailed analysis of the competitive environments, including new trends and segments for novel products and assay development. This study includes information about significant players, trends, and obstacles and other information affecting this market and its different sectors. Overall, this report will forecast current and future trends and developments in the histone methyltransferases segment and its potential market and partnerships for 2013 to 2018.


Epigenetics is defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression caused by modifications other than changes in the DNA sequence. In eukaryotes, genomic DNA is packaged with histone proteins into the cell nucleus as chromatin. Examples of such modifications are DNA methylation and various histone modifications, both of which regulate gene expression without altering the underlying DNA sequence. Consequently, such modifications are not only important for proper development but can cause many pathological conditions including cancer.

Epigenetics is a very complex scientific discipline. It includes many molecular “players” essential for proper cell function. During the last decade, substantial efforts in epigenetics drug discovery were made. Today, the market for epigenetic therapeutics was evaluated by some analysts at over $600 million, based on sales of four products: Dacogen from Eisai, Vidaza and Istodax from Celgene, and Zolinza from Merck, which target two epigenetic pathways-DNA methyltransferases (DNMT) and histone deacteylases (HDAC).

Histone methyltransferases are another group of important epigenetic enzymes responsible for proper gene expression and silencing. For example, Ezh2 is one of the most well-studied histone methyltransferases. Over the past decade, it was deregulated in a variety of human cancers. Recently, the company Epizyme published a study in Nature Chemical Biology[1] where the Ezh2 inhibitor EPZ005687 was revealed. Moreover, other studies have shown that this large family of proteins can serve as an excellent predictive biomarker and target for diagnostics products development.

Overall, the discovery of novel potent inhibitors for the histone methyltransferases family gives hope for many stagnated pharmaceutical R&D programs. The discovery of novel drug candidates for proteins, such as Ezh2, opens enormous possibilities not only in oncology research but in stem cell biology, neurodegeneration and other diseases.

In summary, this report will focus on recent developments in the assay and reagents sector for methyltransferase studies, diagnostics products based on histone methylation research and drug candidates targeting histone methyltransferase activity. It will describe in detail market participants in research and products development, and overall collaborations between different pharma/biotech companies during last two to three years. This report will evaluate the current situation and forecast possible outcomes of histone methyltransferases assay/reagents development, diagnostics and therapeutics field for the next five years.


This report is essentially a business tool that can help market players properly evaluate new commercial opportunities in the epigenetic-related space of the histone methyltransferases segment in the context of research tools, diagnostics and therapeutics submarkets. The geographic scope of this study is global. This market is generally complex and consists of a number of different segments, each of which is affected differently by scientific and technological developments. This report identifies the main positive and negative factors affecting each segment, and forecasts market growth, future trends and product development in every major segment of this market.


Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used in preparing this study. Initially, a comprehensive and exhaustive search of the literature on drug discovery and already marketed products was conducted. These secondary sources included drug discovery and science-related journals, textbooks, press releases, marketing literature, other product/promotional literature, annual reports, security analyst reports and other publications. A patent search and analysis were also conducted.

In a second phase, a series of semistructured interviews was conducted with company representatives, bench scientists, marketing representatives and other personnel at biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Other sources included academics, technology and consulting companies. Subsequent analysis of the documents and interviews notes was iterative.


This report is intended for business development professionals, entrepreneurs and other investors who need to fully understand and properly evaluate each segment in the market for histone methyltransferases research and development. It provides insights into the market position of major companies, and shows new opportunities otherwise overlooked or less known to the business community.


Dr. Marianna Tcherpakov has more than eight years of experience as a bench scientist specializing in biochemistry, cell biology and industrial assay development. She has contributed to a number of scientific publications and holds several patents. She has expertise as an assay development scientist and is familiar with different research field trends and likely future developments.


This report provides:
• An overview of the global market and commercial potential for histone methyltransferases (HMTs)
• Analyses of global market trends, with data for 2012, estimates for 2013, and projections of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2018
• Discussion of the history of epigenetics, descriptions of main epigenetic enzymes, targets for HMTs, the importance of HMTs in different cellular functions, and the role of HMTs in different diseases
• Market participants providing reagent and assay for HMT research, and estimates and evaluation in research tool development
• Patent analysis in HMT assay development
• Current pipelines and drug candidates in HMT drug discovery
• Comprehensive company profiles of major players.

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