Genzyme Names Meeker Chief Operating Officer

From Associated Press (March 30, 2010)


NEW YORK -- Biotechnology company Genzyme Corp. said Tuesday it named David Meeker to the newly created position of chief operating officer.

Meeker, 55, an executive vice president, started working at Genzyme in 1994. He most recently held the position of president of the global genetic diseases business.

The company has made several restructuring moves in the wake of manufacturing problems at a key production facility in the Boston neighborhood of Allston. Since January, the company has named a new president of global manufacturing and corporate operations, along with a senior vice president of global product quality. It also contracted manufacturing for some of its key products to Hospira Inc.

The problems date back to June, when the company shut down the Allston manufacturing plant for about three months to clean up viral contamination that had been slowing down production of Cerezyme and Fabrazyme. Then in November, the FDA said it found tiny particles of trash in drugs made by Genzyme, including steel, rubber and fiber. The agency recommended that doctors closely inspect vials of Cerezyme, Fabrazyme, Myozyme, Aldurazyme and Thyrogen.

Cerezyme treats Gaucher disease, an enzyme disorder that can result in liver and neurological problems, while Fabrazyme treats an inherited disorder known as Fabry disease, which is caused by the buildup of a particular type of fat in the body’s cells. Myozyme treats Pompe disease, which is a rare disorder that interferes with muscle development and can cause deadly respiratory problems.

The Food and Drug Administration is stepping up oversight of the facility through enforcement action.

Shares of Genzyme fell 46 cents to close at $52.52.

 

Posted: March 2010


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