By Randall Osborne

Genzyme Transgenics Corp. (GTC) has established a new subsidiary, Primedica Corp., to draw attention to its research services work — and GTC, pursuing its own programs, plans to continue as one of Primedica's most loyal customers.

"Any of our transgenics products that we have goes through all the clinical testing, and naturally we contract with our own company," said Patricia Dimond, spokeswoman for GTC, which is 43 percent-owned by Cambridge, Mass.-based Genzyme Corp.

"We log it as revenue, and their revenue is our revenue," she said.

As an example, she cited work related to the 1996 joint venture between Genzyme Corp.'s Genzyme Tissue Repair and Diacrin Inc., of Charlestown, Mass. The two are developing Diacrin's technology for transplanting cells from pigs into patients with advanced Parkinson's and Huntington's disease. (See BioWorld Today, Sept. 27, 1996, p. 1.)

"We look at a model for testing a porcine transplant for Diacrin," Dimond said.

Peter Glick, formerly vice president of marketing and corporate development for GTC, has been named president of Primedica.

"We've been operating with one hand behind our back, trying to create recognition for our testing business," Glick said. "We've got 400 people devoted solely to it, and not a lot of people know that."

Primedica consists of GTC's contract research organization (CRO) operations at five sites: Argus Research Laboratories, of Horsham, Pa.; BioDevelopment Laboratories, of Cambridge, Mass.; Mason Laboratories, of Worcester, Mass.; Redfield Laboratories, of Redfield, Ark.; and Washington Laboratories, of Rockville, Md.

The CRO business generated more than $43 million in 1997 revenues.

Establishing it as a subsidiary wholly owned by GTC, Dimond said, makes it a free-standing entity that can be used to make acquisitions. A complementary business may be purchased by Primedica "in the next couple of quarters," she added.

Glick called acquisitions "icing on the cake." He said Primedica also established a "shared-risk, shared-return" program for a small number of clients. Under the program, Primedica will do its fee-for-service work and invest alongside the clients.

GTC's shares (NASDAQ:GZTC) closed Thursday at $12, down $0.125. *