Genzyme closes pharma intermediates business sale
CAMBRIDGE -- Specialty drugmaker Genzyme Corp. said today that it completed the sale of its pharmaceutical intermediates business, finishing a plan announced last year to sell three businesses so it can focus on core growth areas.
The Cambridge company did not disclose terms of the business 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 French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis SA. Last month, Sanofi said it would pay $20.1 billion, or $74 per share, ending months of haggling between the two companies over a possible deal.
Genzyme, which was founded in the 1980s, grew into a biotech powerhouse in the 1990s after launching Ceredase, the first treatment for Gaucher's disease. By 2008 the company was reporting sales of $4.6 billion, but a series of manufacturing stumbles the following year left the company vulnerable to takeover.
Last May, before reports of a possible Sanofi deal surfaced, Genzyme had said it would sell its pharmaceutical intermediates business, as well as its genetic testing and diagnostics products businesses, as part of a plan to increase shareholder value.
Genzyme shares climbed 7 cents to $75.52 in late morning trading.