SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO,Calif.—Cell Genesys Inc. and Genzyme Corp. recently announced that Genzyme acquired Cell Genesys' manufacturing operation in San Diego to support the growth of Genzyme's gene therapy programs. Under the terms of the agreement, Genzyme will pay Cell Genesys $3.2 million in cash for the assets contained in the 47,000 square-foot leased facilities. Most of the approximately 40 employees formerly employed by Cell Genesys have become Genzyme employees.
"We are pleased to conclude this transaction and be able to transfer our San Diego manufacturing operation to Genzyme, a leading biotechnology company," says Michael W. Ramsay, Cell Genesys' senior vice president, operations. "We recognize the significant contributions of the San Diego team for their work in advancing the production of our oncolytic virus therapy products, as well as the gene therapy products now in clinical development through our former subsidiary, Ceregene Inc."
Genzyme plans to use the acquired assets and the new facilities to support its ongoing research and clinical trials, and to broaden the company's manufacturing capabilities related to both adenovirus and adeno-associated virus vectors. These vectors are used to deliver genes to the appropriate cells in patients.
The most advanced gene therapy program at Genzyme is a Phase 2 clinical trial examining the safety and efficacy of locally delivered Ad2/HIF-1 alpha, an engineered form of the HIF-1 alpha gene, for patients with peripheral arterial disease. Genzyme's experimental therapy is designed to promote the growth of new blood vessels and improve circulation in patients' limbs. The primary endpoint is change in the maximum amount of time a patient can walk on a treadmill without stopping due to pain from intermittent claudication.
Genzyme's gene therapy portfolio also includes preclinical work related to lysosomal storage disorders and, in partnership with Excigen, Inc., atrial fibrillation. Genzyme is also conducting preclinical gene therapy research through a joint effort with Applied Genetic Technologies.