Genzyme signs manufacturing deal with Hospira

AP News
|
Posted: Jan 04, 2010 4:28 PM

Biotechnology company Genzyme Corp. is contracting manufacturing for its key products to Hospira Inc. for an undisclosed amount, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Monday.

Genzyme said that on Dec. 28, it signed a "fill and finish manufacturing services" deal for the genetic disorder drugs Cerezyme, Fabrazyme, Myozyme and Thyrogen. The move follows a series of manufacturing problems at the company's facility in the Boston neighborhood of Allston.

In June, Genzyme shut down the manufacturing plant to clean up viral contamination that had been slowing down production of Cerezyme and Fabrazyme. The virus was not harmful to people, but the shutdown cost the company millions in revenue. Production restarted in September.

Meanwhile, in November, the Food and Drug Administration said it found tiny particles of trash in drugs made by Genzyme, including steel, rubber and fiber. The agency recommended that doctors closely inspect vials of Cerezyme, Fabrazyme, Myozyme, Aldurazyme and Thyrogen.

Cerezyme treats a rare enzyme disorder called Gaucher disease and Fabrazyme treats Fabry disease, an inherited disorder caused by the buildup of a particular type of fat in the body's cells.

The deal with Hospira, which makes drug and medication delivery systems, calls for the initial term to expire on Dec. 31, 2015. There are options for a two-year extension. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval for manufacturing the products.

Shares of Genzyme, which is based in Cambridge, Mass., rose 34 cents to close at $49.35. Shares of Hospira, which is based in Lake Forest, Ill., fell 8 cents to close at $50.92 in afternoon trading, having earlier reached a new 52-week high of $51.47.