Genzyme's Termeer: Worst Biotech CEO of '09
The Allston plant shutdown was bad enough on its own, but Genzyme inexplicably, also never invested the time or money into building a sufficient inventory of its largest and most important drug, Cerezyme, a treatment for Gaucher disease made there.
So, Cerezyme supplies essentially ran dry, placing patients who need the drug at risk and forcing the company to cut revenue and earnings forecasts.
The Cerezyme shortage allowed two competitors -- Shire (SHPGY) and Protalix (PLX) -- to begin treating patients with their own Gaucher drugs much earlier than expected. And both companies were helped by FDA, which apparently is no longer comfortable with Genzyme being the sole-source supplier for Gaucher patients.
As summer made way for fall, Genzyme assured investors that problems with the Allston plant were solved, but then on Friday, the FDA took the extraordinary step of holding a press conference to warn doctors and patients that old equipment still in use there was depositing visible bits of stainless steel, rubber and fiber into filled drug vials.At the same time, FDA completed a weeks-long inspection of the Allston plant, finding more problems that need to be fixed before the facility can begin shipping drugs to patients again. The FDA also refused to approve -- yet again -- Genzyme's drug for Pompe Disease. All of this and more bad stuff that I don't have time to detail here (the Clolar cancer drug rejection, opaque accounting and financial reporting, the blown-up partnership with Osiris Therapeutics (OSIR), etc. etc.) has taken place under Termeer's watch.
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