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Henri Termeer Dies

Henri Termeer, who led Genzyme for decades and helped established the modern biotech industry, has died, according to the Boston Globe. He was 71.

Termeer joined Genzyme in the early 1980s when it was a struggling biotech company and transformed it into rare disease drug development giant, Xconomy adds. Genzyme developed treatments for Gaucher's, Fabry, and Pompe disease. At the same time, Massachusetts took off as a research and development powerhouse, the Globe says.

"As one of the founders of the modern biotech industry, Henri has changed the lives of patients around the world through his ongoing dedication to discovering breakthrough treatments for those with rare diseases," says Bob Coughlin, president of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, in a statement. "Without Henri and Genzyme, Massachusetts would not have grown into the best biotech hub in the world."

Termeer led Genzyme from 1983 to 2011, when Sanofi bought the company for some $20 billion. After leaving Genzyme, he donated $10 million to Massachusetts General Hospital to start a targeted therapies center and served on the hospital's board of trustees, the Globe says. Termeer also served on the boards of other biotechs, including Abiomed and Lysosomal Therapeutics, and helped found the nonpartisan health policy group Network for Excellence in Health Innovation.