Genzyme Corp. and Neozyme Corp. said Thursday that Vianainenzymatic debridement agent has received orphan drugdesignation for use in the treatment of severe burns.

Genzyme (NASDAQ:GENZ) of Cambridge, Mass., anticipates filingan investigational new drug application to begin Phase I trialsof Vianain in the first half of this year. Development of Vianainis supported by Neozyme (NASDAQ:NEOZ), which was formed in1990 to accelerate development of six Genzyme healthcareproducts.

Treatment of severely burned patients involves removal ofnon-viable tissue (debridement) to prevent infection and toprepare the site for grafting or other therapy. Currenttreatment is based largely on surgical debridement.

According to the National Center of Health Statistics, about100,000 people are hospitalized each year in the United Stateswith severe burns.

Genzyme shares closed unchanged at $56.25 and Neozymegained $1.75 to $28.50.

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