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Cancer Diagnostics IP Plays Musical Chairs With Two Genzyme Divisions

NEW YORK, Jan 3 — One Genzyme business division has agreed to sell its cancer diagnostics intellectual property and licensing to another division, the company announced  on Thursday.


Under the deal, Genzyme Genetics acquired diagnostic rights for dozens of cancer markers from Genzyme Molecular Oncology, including p53 and the colon cancer-linked genes MSH2 and APC. The genetics division, which focuses on genetic testing and counseling, now assumes exclusive rights to the intellectual property and any licenses on cancer-related genes and diagnostic methods.


Genzyme Genetics will use the markers to develop and commercialize its own cancer tests, while simultaneously developing new non-exclusive licensing agreements with outside partners. The division will have further diagnostic rights to new cancer markers that Genzyme Molecular Oncology may discover in the future, and options on new findings made with its collaborative partners.


The molecular oncology division received $32 million in return, and may also get an additional $1 million in milestone payments. It will use that money to fund its programs in cancer vaccines and angiogenesis inhibition. That division's current cash balance is now approximately $40 million, which the company says is sufficient to fund its operations into 2003.


The deal "significantly increased our cash balance in a non-dilutive manner," Gail Maderis, Genzyme Molecular Oncology president, said in a statement.

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