Genzyme Corp. has acquired the diagnostic enzyme productsbusiness of Genencor International Inc. for cash "in excess of$8 million," according to Genzyme spokeswoman Donna LaVoie.

The acquisition allows privately held Genencor to focus on itshigh-grade, high-volume industrial enzymes for applicationssuch as cleaning and the fruit juice industry, said Carole Cobb,director of diagnostics for Genencor, headquartered inRochester, N.Y.

Genzyme acquired Genencor's product line and inventory ofenzymes that are used to produce diagnostic kits, primarily fortesting components in serum, blood or other body fluids. "Whilethe diagnostic enzyme business is not growing rapidly, itallows us to gain a significant market share," LaVoie toldBioWorld.

"We received 35 U.S. patents and more than 250 patents in theacquisition," LaVoie said. The Cambridge, Mass., company alsogained exclusive worldwide sales and distribution rights for alipase color reagent kit for pancreatitis made by Toyo Joso, aswell as exclusive licensed patent rights, assigned by Kodak, tomanufacture and sell glycerol phosphate oxide enzyme, andNorth American distribution rights for Toyobo Co. Ltd.'sdiagnostic products.

Genzyme will manufacture the acquired product line at itsMaidstone manufacturing facility in the United Kingdom.

Last week Genzyme said it is establishing a Europeansubsidiary, Genzyme B.V., to be based in Naarden, theNetherlands. The subsidiary will market Genzyme productsdirectly in Europe, as well as move products through Europeanclinical trials and regulatory approval.

Genzyme B.V. will initially focus on marketing Ceredase, anenzyme replacement therapy for Type I Gaucher disease.Ceredase is being used to treat severely ill patients in Europeon a special approval basis. Genzyme said it expects to file forEuropean Community approval in the first quarter of 1992.

Genzyme stock (NASDAQ:GENZ) closed Monday at $49, down 75cents.

-- Kris Herbst BioWorld Washington Bureau

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.