Wednesday said it now expects its acquisition of

ILEX Oncology


to close during the fourth quarter, based on the status of the regulatory approval process.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Genzyme said it "continues to have productive discussions with the Federal Trade Commission" to resolve outstanding issues.

When Genzyme announced in late February that it would pay $1 billion in an all stock deal for the San Antonio, Texas-based ILEX, it predicted it could close the deal by mid-2004. FTC inquiries over potential antitrust issues have caused delays.

ILEX specializes in cancer therapies and is best known for Campath, its treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Genzyme shares fell 14 cents, or 0.2%, to $54.99. ILEX's fell 38 cents, or 1.5%, to $25.02.