CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 22 Genzyme Corp.(Nasdaq: GENZ) announced today that it will build a major new research anddevelopment center in Beijing. The initiative is an important element inGenzyme's ongoing global expansion and commitment to establishing a long-termpresence in China.
The new facility will be used for research and development activitiesinvolving many of Genzyme's key areas of focus, including orthopedics,transplant and immune disease, oncology, endocrinology and cardiovasculardisease. The facility, which will feature an innovative green design, willalso include laboratory-scale operations for the MACI(R) (matrix-inducedautologous chondrocyte implantation) cell therapy and polyclonal antibodyoperations.
"This new site represents a major step forward in our effort to improvethe lives of patients in China by introducing innovative new medicalproducts," said Henri A. Termeer, Genzyme's chairman and chief executiveofficer. "As we expand our presence in China, we look forward to making asignificant contribution to the growth of the country's life sciencesindustry."
Genzyme already markets Synvisc(R) (hylan G-F 20) and Thymoglobulin(R)(anti-thymocyte globulin rabbit) in China, and is preparing to introduceadditional products next year. The company also has a pilot program atBeijing Wujing Hospital for the cell therapy product MACI. Genzyme currentlyhas 25 employees working in offices in Beijing and Shanghai.
Since 1999, Genzyme has provided its rare genetic disease treatmentCerezyme(R) (imiglucerase for injection) free of charge to Chinese patients inneed. Approximately 125 patients are being treated in China through theGaucher Initiative, Genzyme's humanitarian partnership with Project HOPE.Last year, the company began a collaboration with the Chinese firm SunwayBiotech Co. Ltd. with the goal of bringing a gene therapy for cardiovasculardisease to patients in China and Genzyme is seeking to form additionalpartnerships with local companies.
Consistent with Genzyme's commitment to the environment and corporateresponsibility, the new Beijing facility will feature an attractivearchitectural design and innovative green features that will create a healthyand comfortable workplace for employees, and reduce its environmental impact.The company intends to seek certification for the building with the U.S. GreenBuilding Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) ratingsystem. Genzyme's global corporate headquarters, Genzyme Center, achieved thehighest LEED rating, and all of the company's facilities worldwide are beingbuilt to high environmental standards. Genzyme is conducting major R&D andmanufacturing expansion projects in the United States, Belgium, France, theUnited Kingdom and the Netherlands, and is rapidly expanding its commercialoperations in countries around the world.
Genzyme's new Beijing facility will be located in Zhongguancun (ZGC) LifeScience Park, an area dedicated to academic and government research centers aswell as pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. The 200,000 square-footbuilding will be constructed with low-impact environmental techniques andmethods, and will incorporate a range of environmentally responsible features,including: a living roof to reduce pollution caused by storm water runoff; asolar thermal system that will provide a significant portion of the building'shot water and reduce its energy consumption; and low-flow fixtures to limitwater usage.
An all-glass exterior will provide employees with significant naturallight, contributing to a pleasant working environment and reducing thefacility's dependence on electricity for artificial lighting. The facility isalso intended to serve as a central gathering spot, with a large auditorium tohost meetings of employees, physicians and others in the scientific community.This meeting space will be adjac