Genzyme opens new Science Center as part of global r&d and manufacturing expansion

Genzyme Corp. has opened its new US$125m (Euro 85m) Science Center in Framingham, Massachusetts. The facility serves as a central site for early stage research into a variety of medical areas including genetic diseases, cancer, immune diseases, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, endocrinology and neurological disorders.

Genzyme Corp. has opened its new US$125m (Euro 85m) Science Center in Framingham, Massachusetts. The facility serves as a central site for early stage research into a variety of medical areas including genetic diseases, cancer, immune diseases, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, endocrinology and neurological disorders.

The Science Center has received a Gold certification under the US Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System. It is one of only 10 laboratories to achieve this high rating.

Offices and labs surround the 180,000ft2 building's six-storey central atrium and are connected by open meeting spaces to foster collaboration. At capacity, approximately 350 employees will occupy the Science Center, which has direct views of the outdoors for most employees.

The building's green features include a sophisticated heating and cooling system, high-efficiency fume hoods for researchers, and low-flow water fixtures. The extensive use of glass reduces electricity needs and contributes to a pleasant working environment by allowing a large amount of natural light inside. It is estimated that the Science Center uses 26% less energy and 40% less water than a comparable conventional building.

"Genzyme exists to innovate, and the Science Center reflects this purpose," said Henri A. Termeer, Genzyme's chairman and ceo. "The work done at this facility will help support the company's long-term growth."

The Science Center is one component of an ongoing global expansion .In Framingham, construction is underway on a $250m (€170m) cell culture manufacturing facility. The 230,000ft2 site is expected to be completed in 2011 and create approximately 300 new jobs.

A $150m (€102m) expansion of the company's flagship cell-culture manufacturing facility at Allston, Massachusetts began last year and is expected to be completed in 2009.

Genzyme is also starting work on a new manufacturing plant in Lyon, France, for the production of Thymoglobulin (Anti-thymocyte Globulin [Rabbit]), a treatment used in transplantation. In 2009, it plans to break ground on a major new r&d centre in Beijing as part of its commitment to establishing a long-term presence in China.

Genzyme recently completed a major expansion of its manufacturing facility in Geel, Belgium, to support the global growth of Myozyme (alglucosidase alfa), the company's treatment for Pompe disease. Regulatory approval of Myozyme production at the facility is expected during the first half of 2009. Genzyme is also planning to produce Campath (alemtuzumab), its treatment for B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia, at the facility.

In addition, the company is completing manufacturing capacity expansions at its facilities in Haverhill in the UK and Waterford in Ireland.

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