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Genzyme grows in Europe

Genzyme is to expand its operations in Europe with a new manufacturing plant in Geel, Belgium, producing its Pompe disease treatment Myozyme/ Lumizyme

Genzyme is to expand its operations in Europe with a new manufacturing plant in Geel, Belgium, producing its Pompe disease treatment Myozyme (alglucosidase alfa). The drug is known as Lumizyme in the US.

The plant, expected to cost around €250m, will be in addition to an adjacent plant already in place in Geel. The current facility will also be expanded, with plans for a third bioreactor scheduled for approval by the end of 2011.

With the creation of the second plant, an extra 150 jobs will be generated. The company had previously announced in September 2010 that 1,000 jobs would be cut worldwide before 2012.

"The expansion of our Geel facility is a critical element of our manufacturing strategy and is fundamental to our mission," said Scott Canute, president, global manufacturing and corporate operations, Genzyme. "This investment ensures continued supply to our patients in the Pompe community for the long term."

Pompe is a neuromuscular disease caused by the accumulation of Glycogen. It causes progressive weakness in an individual as well as affecting a person's respiratory functions.

Myozyme is currently the only approved treatment for the disease that affects around 10,000 people worldwide.

20th January 2011

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