CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (
) -- The winner of the 2009 Worst Biotech CEO of the Year Award goes to
The race for the Nance Trophy (more on the award's name below) wasn't even close. I was going to hold off announcing the loser... er, I mean winner... until next month, but there was no need to wait given Termeer's epic mismanagement of Genzyme this year.
Termeer has driven Genzyme so far into the ground that a turnaround at the company will only come if Termeer resigns his CEO post. And with billionaire investor and corporate agitator Carl Icahn disclosing a position in Genzyme Monday night, perhaps Termeer's days at the helm are numbered.
Genzyme was once one of the largest and most successful biotech companies in the sector. The company pioneered the development of drugs to treat rare genetic disease. The pricing of those drugs, measured in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, made Genzyme a beloved stock in the eyes of health care investors.
But in the past year (in reality, the past two years) a never-ending series of regulatory and manufacturing snafus has forced the company to delay drug approvals and launches, temporarily shutter a major manufacturing plant due to a viral contamination, write off millions of dollars in product inventory and poison its relationship with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to the point that regulators have taken an active role in helping Genzyme's competitors.
Genzyme has cut its earnings forecast four times this year. Adjusted earnings are now expected to fall 43%, from $4.01 a share in 2008 to $2.27 a share this year, based on the current analyst consensus.