Genzyme Corp. announced that it has established a newbusiness in the transgenic production of therapeutic proteins.

James Geraghty, formerly a general manager with BaxterInternational, will be vice president and general manager ofthe new business. This move reflects the company's confidencethat it has developed its transgenic programs "to the pointwhere they are commercially viable," said Greg Phelps, seniorvice president of Genzyme.

The Cambridge, Mass., company (NASDAQ:GENZ) has refined itstransgenic animal technology to the extent that it is now able toproduce recombinant proteins in the milk of mice and goats,which could theoretically serve as alternative productionsystems for therapeutic drugs.

Genzyme scientists have recently succeeded in producing theCFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance receptor)membrane protein in mouse milk. And in collaboration withthe Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, thecompany's researchers have coaxed a transgenic goat to secretetissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) in its milk. Genzyme hasalso "worked with a number of other proteins (in this system),"according to Donna LaVoie, manager of public relations.

"Transgenic technology offers the ability to bring to marketimportant classes of products that might otherwise beimpossible or uneconomic to produce," added Henri Termeer,Genzyme's chief executive officer. "We look forward toestablishing a number of new commercial relationships in thefuture."

The terms of those relationships, LaVoie told BioWorld, will bespecific to both the partners and the proteins involved.

Genzyme's stock was down 25 cents a share on Tuesday to$43.75.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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