Genzyme

(GENZ)

reported a 22% increase in fourth-quarter revenue, but the biotech company's top line didn't quite reach Wall Street's expectations.

The Cambridge, Mass., company reported $722 million in revenue in the fourth quarter, up from $591 million a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting revenue of $729.9 million.

Sales of one of its top drugs, Cerezyme, climbed 6% to $232 million. Cerezyme is a treatment for Gaucher disease, an inherited condition that causes the buildup of fatty deposits in some organs and bones. Fewer than 10,000 people in the world have the disease, which can lead to spleen and liver enlargement, anemia and other problems.

Genzyme has made efforts to reduce its dependence on Cerezyme, and sales of its other drugs saw growth well into double-digit ranges. The kidney disease drug Renagel saw a 12% increase in sales to $111 million, while the Fabry disease treatment Fabrazyme had a sales increase of 27% to $81 million. Sales of the thyroid drug Thyrogen were up 18% to $21 million.

Genzyme issued initial projections of $3.1 billion to $3.3 billion in revenue and earnings of $1.78 to $1.88 a share for 2006. Excluding items, the company is looking for a profit of $2.65 to $2.75 a share. Analysts were forecasting earnings of $2.75 a share on revenue of $3.2 billion this year.

According to a press release issued after Monday's market close, Genzyme expects to hear from regulators on its application for Myozyme, its proposed treatment for the often fatal muscular disorder Pompe disease, in the next few months. If approved, the drug would be launched in the first half of this year.

Genzyme is slated to report its full 2005 results and provide additional financial guidance on Feb. 15. Shares of Genzyme fell 44 cents to $74.60 in after-hours trading.