Genzyme starts work on new Mass facility

By Staff Reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Clinical trial, Multiple sclerosis

US biotechnology major Genzyme has begun $68m of refurbishment work on a new 211,000 sgft manufacturing and shipping complex in Northborough, Massachusetts.

The site will house office, laboratory and warehousing space, as well as a packaging and distribution centre, according to a report in the MetroWest Daily News​.

A considerable portion of the money being spent on the site will be used to install heating and air conditioning systems as part of Genzyme’s bid to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

The new facility, which is scheduled to open late next year, is intended to bolster Genzyme’s operations in the region, which including its manufacturing facility in Allston that has recently encountered a number of regulatory problems.

While the most recent of these, a European Medicines Agency (EMEA) letter detailing “one major [GMP] observation,”​ is still being addressed, Genzyme’s investment in the new facility suggests it is confident about the future of its manufacturing operations.

Ph III alemtuzumab trial

In other positive news, Genzyme announced that it has completed recruitment in a Phase III trial of its candidate multiple sclerosis drug alemtuzumab.

Long term Phase II trials of the drug, which compared it with Rebif, showed it conferred “durable reductions in the occurrence of relapses and the accumulation of disability,” according to comments made by investor Alasdair Coles in a Boston Business Journal Interview​.

Mark Enyedy, president of Genzyme’s oncology and MS unit, told the paper that: “The enrollment of both pivotal trials is a significant accomplishment​,” adding that it “reflects strong interest from patients and significant support from our clinical investigators and patient organizations around the world​.”

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