Genzyme Acquires Pharming’s Production Plant in Geel, Belgium

Category: Archive
October 29, 2001

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-Genzyme Corp. announced today that it has acquired certain assets of Pharming N.V., the Belgian subsidiary of the Pharming Group currently operating under a court-supervised receivership. These assets include a 70,000 square foot cGMP protein manufacturing facility currently under construction and a pilot plant that is currently used to produce transgenic human alpha-Glucosidase, both located in Geel, Belgium. The acquisition has been approved by the Commercial Court in Turnhout, the Province of Antwerp, and Genzyme’s board of directors.

In the near term, the acquisition of the Geel facility is intended to allow Genzyme to assume control over the production of the transgenic enzyme and secure its supply to nine patients with Pompe disease participating in the extension of a clinical trial. Genzyme has been solely funding the production of the enzyme since Pharming Group sought receivership.

In the longer term, this acquisition will broaden Genzyme’s worldwide manufacturing infrastructure by providing the company with a biopharmaceutical production facility located in continental Europe. Genzyme is in the midst of a comprehensive program to substantially expand manufacturing capacity to support the strong growth of existing products and the launch of products within its development pipeline. The company plans to significantly expand protein production capacity in Geel and begin full manufacturing operations there in 2003. As a result, Genzyme has suspended plans to construct a recombinant protein production facility adjacent to its Framingham, Massachusetts, campus. Genzyme intends to retain all of the full-time employees of Pharming N.V.

“We believe this is a positive resolution to what has been a difficult situation,” said Jan van Heek, executive vice president of Genzyme Corp. “Most importantly, this acquisition helps ensure that patients will continue to receive the transgenic product. At the same time, it will allow us to establish a new protein manufacturing facility much sooner than we had planned. We are eager to begin integrating the Geel facility with our existing and planned operations.”

Genzyme Corporation is a biotechnology company that develops and markets products and services designed to address unmet medical needs.

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements about: the anticipated benefits of the acquisition of the Geel facility; expectations concerning Genzyme’s ability to produce transgenic enzyme; plans for the Geel facility and the employees; and product development plans. Actual results may materially differ due to numerous factors, including without limitation: the content and timing of filings with and decisions by courts and other authorities; access to materials supplied by third parties; the results of feasibility studies, product development efforts and clinical studies; the ability to manufacture sufficient quantities of product in a timely manner; and the risks and uncertainties described in reports filed by Genzyme Corporation with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including without limitation Exhibit 99.2 to Genzyme’s 2000 Annual Report on Form 10-K, as amended.

Genzyme® is a registered trademark of Genzyme Corporation. All rights reserved.

Back to news articles