Genzyme invests 55 million


Richard Spring, MP FOR West Suffolk, visited the Haverhill plant of U.

S. biotech giant Genzyme to see progress in the construction of the first new manufacturing plant for Sevelamer -- the raw material for the company's potential blockbuster drug Renagel.

The large-scale plant, at Rookwood Way, will be operational from September. From May, work will begin on a further manufacturing plant to increase bulk production capacity of Sevelamer from 50 to 500 tons.

A new quality control laboratory, tableting and warehouse facility will also be built.

The expansion programme is part of an unprecedented investment totalling 55 million which will result in up to 200 more jobs at the site -- almost tripling the size of the workforce.

The funding is speeding up plans to meet accelerating demand for Renagel, which is used in the control of phosphate in the blood of dialysis patients.

Simon Cousins, Haverhill operations vice-president, said a sharp increase in prescriptions and other data had encouraged them to raise their income expectations.

He said: 'This new data reinforces our expectations that Renagel will become a billion dollar product in the next 10 years and endorses Haverhill's emerging world-class status in the field of pharmaceutical manufacturing.'