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Belgian Court Clears Genzyme to Acquire Pharming Unit

NEW YORK, Oct. 30 – Genzyme was given the green light from a court in Belgium to acquire rival Pharming NV, currently in receivership, Genzyme said on Tuesday.

Pharming Group, the subsidiary’s parent company, said it plans to appeal the ruling. In September, the company said it opposed an offer from Genzyme because the bid was too low.

The ruling by the Commercial Court in Turnhout, in Antwerp, gives Cambridge, Mass.-based Genzyme rights to buy a plant that manufactures transgenic human alpha-Glucosidase and a 70,000 facility currently under construction that will make cGMP proteins, Genzyme said in a statement.  

Both facilities are located in the town of Geel, which is in northern Belgium near the country’s border with The Netherlands.

According to a Genzyme spokesperson, the acquisition is focused primarily on the Genzyme General division of Genzyme Corp. and is designed to expand the company's protein-based product development.

The acquisition also will seek to provide interim and potentially new therapies for nine patients with Pompe disease who were particpants in a defunct trial co-organized through a joint venture between Genzyme General and Pharming.

A product currently being produced in one of the Geel facilities, transgenic human alpha-Glucosidase, will continue to be distributed to the nine patients. Genzyme General and Pharming agreed last year not to pursue the development of this product.

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