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Genzyme on the hunt for new products

Bloomberg News / February 24, 2009
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NEW YORK - Genzyme Corp. may spend about $600 million this year to acquire products that treat chronic diseases, said chief executive Henri Termeer.

Genzyme, the world's largest maker of drugs for rare genetic disorders, will seek opportunities to purchase "personalized drugs, highly specialized medicines where you can easily explain their value," Termeer said yesterday.

Acquisitions made by the Cambridge-based biotechnology company will focus on individual products already tested in humans, Termeer said. He prefers buying products rather than entire companies because he wants to invest in "the value of maintaining the team" that got the new therapies started, he said.

"When you buy a program, the heart of the company is still there," Termeer said.

Roche Holding AG's $86.50-a-share hostile takeover bid for Genentech Inc. risks "losing very, very good individuals," Termeer said. Roche, the 56 percent owner of Genentech, has made a tender offer for the remaining 44 percent of the shares.

Genzyme isn't an acquisition target, Termeer said.

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