Genzyme Begins Major Expansion of Boston Manufacturing Facility
Project to Support the Increasing Global Need for Genzyme Products
GenzymeÂ today broke ground on a significant expansion of its flagship manufacturing facility at Allston Landing in Boston. The $150 million project is focused on adding space for manufacturing support functions, and will allow for the creation of 90 jobs.
The expansion was marked by a ceremony featuring Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, and five-year-old Pompe patient Megan Assink along with her parents, Greg and Deb, and her sister, Hope. The event was attended by more than 500 people, including local political and business leaders, members of the Allston community, patient organizations, foreign government officials, and Genzyme employees.
Commercial production of a single product began at Allston Landing in 1996; Genzyme has since introduced four additional products to the facility. This substantial growth in manufacturing capacity has led to the need for greater space for manufacturing support operations, offices and mechanical equipment.
"The expansion of Allston Landing will help sustain the continued growth of Genzyme's products," said Henri A. Termeer, chairman and chief executive officer of Genzyme. "It will enable us to continue to fulfill our long-term commitment to deliver these life-saving treatments to patients around the world."
Allston Landing was Genzymeâ€™s first major manufacturing facility and is now one of 17 worldwide. Thousands of patients rely on the medicines produced at Allston, which is one of the world's largest cell-culture manufacturing facilities. The expansion project includes 86,000 square feet of new office and manufacturing-support space. Genzyme is also building a 26,000 square foot underground co-generation facility, which will generate steam to run the plantâ€™s process operations and will also produce electricity.
Genzyme began construction of Allston Landing in the early 1990s, and the facility was initially intended to produce one productâ€” CerezymeÂ® (imiglucerase for injection) for Type 1 Gaucher disease. While the physical size and layout of the facility have remained largely unchanged, Genzyme is now producing five products at the facility. Three are manufactured there: Cerezyme; FabrazymeÂ® (agalsidase beta) for Fabry disease; and MyozymeÂ® (alglucosidase alfa) for Pompe disease. Genzyme also performs the filling and packaging for two products manufactured at other sites: AldurazymeÂ® (laronidase) for MPS I disease and ThyrogenÂ® (thyrotropin alfa for injection), used in the screening of patients who have had thyroid cancer. Genzyme last expanded the site in 2004.
The Allston Landing facility is a highly visible landmark located between Storrow Drive and the Massachusetts Turnpike. The design and brick faÃ§ade of the existing building establish a strong visual link to nearby universities. The expanded site has been designed to reflect a significantly more modern and transparent image, in keeping with Genzymeâ€™s continuing desire to embrace these qualities in its corporate culture. The design also will serve to symbolically open up the facility to the surrounding community.
The Allston expansion will incorporate environmentally responsible building practices similar to those used in Genzyme Centerâ€”the companyâ€™s Cambridge headquartersâ€”and its new Science Center in Framingham. Genzyme intends to seek certification for the expansion under the U.S. Green Building Council's LEEDÂ® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating Systemâ„¢.
The expanded facility will permanently house works of art from the Expression of Hope exhibition, produced by people in Massachusetts and around the world living with lysosomal storage disorders. These patients were invited to create and submit a work of art that expressed their feelings of hope in the face of their struggles with a rare illness. The exhibition also features pieces created by artists from the Massachusetts College of Art, who spent time with patients and produced pieces representing the spirit of these individuals.
Allston Landing's more than 400 employees work around the clock, 365 days a year to ensure that the therapies produced there meet optimal quality standards. Genzyme recruits and trains residents from the local community for a wide range of jobs at the facility, including positions in manufacturing operations, facilities engineering, and quality operations.
The architect for the Allston expansion project is ARC/Architectural Resources Cambridge Inc. and the general contractor is Turner Construction Inc. The engineers are Clark, Richardson & Biskup, Careba Mott MacDonald, and Tetra Tech Rizzo. The project is expected to be completed in approximately two years.
As it has grown internationally, Genzyme has maintained its long-standing commitment to Massachusetts, where the company was founded in 1981. Genzyme has a large and growing presence in the state, which is home to nearly half of the company's approximately 10,000 employees. Genzyme recently completed its new 180,000 square-foot Science Center in Framingham, as well as a 55,000 square-foot expansion of its Waltham location, and the company continues to build its presence in Boston, Cambridge, and Westborough. Genzyme currently occupies more than 2 million square feet of space in Massachusetts. The company has facilities across the United States and in more than 30 countries around the world. Genzyme is conducting major expansion projects in Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, China, and the Netherlands.
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 nearly 10,000 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 â€œ100 Best Companies to Work forâ€ 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 expectation that the expansion of Allston Landing will help sustain the continued growth of Genzyme's products, expected job creation estimates, the completion of the Allston Landing expansion in two years and the certification of the expansion under the U.S. Green Building Council's Green Building Rating System. 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 Genzymeâ€™s ability to obtain and maintain the requisite governmental or other approvals to implement its plans for the Allston facility, and the risks and uncertainties described in reports filed by Genzyme with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including without limitation the factors discussed under the caption "Risk Factors" in Genzyme's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2007. We caution investors not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise the statements.