Skip to NavigationSkip to content

Genzyme buys cancer specialists Bioenvision

Published on 31/05/07 at 12:37pm

Genzyme is to spend $345 million on acquiring specialist pharma company Bioenvision and its oncology portfolio.

Genzyme already co-markets with Bioenvision its key product Evoltra (clofarabine), a treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and the companies are working on a number of related indications.

Founded in 1981, Genzyme has become hugely successful in developing highly specialised and high-cost drugs for small populations, most of them benefiting from orphan drug status in the US and Europe. Foremost among its products are enzyme replacement therapies such as Fabrazyme and Cerezyme, the latter earning over $1 billion in 2006.

Its acquisition of Bioenvision now gives it presence in specialist oncology, a fast-growing and lucrative market.

"Building an international commercial presence for our oncology business has been a focus for the corporation and we are very pleased to reach agreement with Bioenvision on this transaction," said Henri Termeer, chairman and chief executive of Genzyme.

"Strategically, financially and operationally, this acquisition makes great sense for our business," said Mark Enyedy, general manager of Genzyme Oncology, a business unit of Genzyme. "We have developed a comprehensive understanding of clofarabine and its clinical potential, and are fully engaged in expanding its use into adult populations, most notably and nearest-term in AML. Full ownership will accelerate the development and commercialisation of this important therapy."

Bioenvision has obtained UK marketing approval for another product Modrenal for the treatment of post-menopausal breast cancer following relapse to initial hormone therapy.  The company is also developing anti-infective technologies, including the Oligon technology; an advanced biomaterial that has been incorporated into various FDA approved medical devices and Suvus, an anti-microbial agent in clinical development for refractory chronic hepatitis C infection.

The acquisition is expected to dent Genzyme's earnings by six cents per share this financial year, but is projected to boost them again by 2009.


Mission Statement is a leading portal for the pharmaceutical industry, providing industry professionals with pharma news, pharma events, pharma service company listings and pharma jobs,
Site content is produced by our editorial team exclusively for and our industry newspaper Pharmafocus. Service company profiles and listings are taken from our pharmaceutical industry directory, Pharmafile, and presented in a unique Find and Compare format to ensure the most relevant matches