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Genzyme closes sale of pharma unit

In May, Genzyme said it would sell three businesses so it can focus on core growth areas. In May, Genzyme said it would sell three businesses so it can focus on core growth areas. (Michael Springer/ Bloomberg News)
Associated Press / March 2, 2011

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CAMBRIDGE — Specialty drug maker Genzyme Corp. said yesterday that it has completed the sale of its pharmaceutical intermediates business, finishing a plan disclosed last year to sell three businesses so it can focus on core growth areas.

The company did not disclose terms of the sale to International Chemical Investors Group.

Genzyme said it entered into a supply contract with the buyer to receive materials needed to produce a potential Gaucher disease treatment in late-stage clinical testing. Gaucher disease is an enzyme disorder that can result in liver and neurological problems.

Genzyme is being acquired by the French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis SA. Last month, Sanofi said it would pay $20.1 billion, ending months of haggling between the two companies.

In May, before reports of a possible Sanofi deal had surfaced, Genzyme said it would sell its pharmaceutical intermediates business, as well as its genetic testing and diagnostics products businesses.