CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Genzyme Corp. (Nasdaq: GENZ) announced today that it has entered into a license agreement with Moffitt Cancer Center to obtain exclusive worldwide diagnostic testing rights to the discovery of the relationship of two proteins to patient response to non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment. The expression level of these proteins may help predict how these patients will respond to therapy. Genzyme Genetics' relationship with Moffitt broadens its lung cancer testing portfolio.
The expression levels of the two proteins, RRM1 and ERCC1, have been shown by Dr. Gerold Bepler, M.D., and his team from Moffitt, to correlate with patient response to platinum drugs and gemcitabine, both of which are commonly used in treating NSCLC. Through this license, Genzyme plans to develop and market a diagnostic test that can be used to measure the expression levels of these proteins in NSCLC patients. This test may be used to guide first-line treatment for these patients, which in turn may improve patient outcomes while avoiding unnecessary side effects from ineffective treatment.
"In 2007, an estimated 30 percent of all cancer deaths will have been from lung cancer," said Dr. Bruce Horten, M.D., national medical director for Genzyme Genetics. "Our agreement with the renowned Moffitt Cancer Center will enable Genzyme to develop and market a diagnostic test designed to assist physicians in identifying the appropriate first-line therapy for their NSCLC patients -- a key decision point in the management of patients for whom getting the right drug as quickly as possible is critical. A personalized medicine approach to treatment such as this has the potential to help patients lead longer, healthier lives."
"Lung cancer is responsible for more cancer deaths in women than breast cancer and more deaths in men than prostate cancer," said Bepler, program leader of Moffitt's thoracic oncology program. "We hope this test will advance our fight against this disease and improve treatment options for patients."
Under the license agreement, Genzyme has agreed to pay Moffitt when various milestones are reached and provide Moffitt with running royalties on the sales of licensed services and products.
About Moffitt Cancer Center
Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center (www.moffitt.org) is the only Florida-based cancer center with the NCI designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center for its excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 15 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country's leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of "America's Best Hospitals" for cancer and ear, nose and throat. Moffitt's sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.
About Genzyme Genetics
Genzyme Genetics is a leading, nationwide provider of high quality genetic testing and genetic counseling services for physicians and their patients. With laboratories and counseling facilities located across the U.S., Genzyme Genetics offers extensive reproductive and cancer testing services, supported by innovative technology and a commitment to quality service and trusted information. Genzyme Genetics is a business unit of Genzyme Corporation.
One of the world's leading biotechnology companies, Genzyme is dedicated to making a major positive impact on the lives of people with serious diseases. Since 1981, the company has grown from a small start-up to a diversified enterprise with more than 9,500 employees in locations spanning the globe and 2006 revenues of $3.2 billion. In 2007, Genzyme was chosen to receive the National Medal of Technology, the highest honor awarded by the President of the United States for technological innovation. In 2006 and 2007, Genzyme was selected by FORTUNE as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work for" in the United States.
With many established products and services helping patients in nearly 90 countries, Genzyme is a leader in the effort to develop and apply the most advanced technologies in the life sciences. The company's products and services are focused on rare inherited disorders, kidney disease, orthopaedics, cancer, transplant, and diagnostic testing. Genzyme's commitment to innovation continues today with a substantial development program focused on these fields, as well as immune disease, infectious disease, and other areas of unmet medical need.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including the statements regarding the ability of the ERCC1 and RRM1 proteins to help predict patient response to therapy, and Genzyme's plans to develop and market a diagnostic test which may be used to measure expression of these proteins and to guide first-line treatment for NSCLC patients. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in these forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among others, scientific, technical and supply issues that prevent the development of a ERCC1/RRM1 test, the failure of ERCC1/RRM1 testing to produce diagnostic results as anticipated, the continued availability of ERCC1/RRM1 testing resulting from the lack of commercial acceptance of this test, including the acceptance of the test at price levels that are economically viable for Genzyme Genetics, and the other risks and uncertainties described in reports filed by Genzyme with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including without limitation the information under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations section of the Genzyme Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ending September 30, 2007. Genzyme cautions investors not to place substantial reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and Genzyme undertakes no obligation to update or revise the statements.
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SOURCE Genzyme Corp.