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Bayer, Genzyme Form Strategic Agreement for Drug Commercialization Rights

Genzyme Corporation, a Massachusetts-headquartered biotechnology company, and Bayer HealthCare, a division of Germany-based Bayer AG, will form a strategic partnership to produce and market Bayer's drug Campath (alemtuzumab). Genzyme says that it will take primary responsibility for the development and commercialization of the drug, which has been FDA-approved in the United States to treat leukemia but has shown potential as a treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). "Alemtuzumab is a potentially transformative therapy for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, and an important part of our future," says Henri A. Termeer, Genzyme's chair and CEO. "This strategic transaction clarifies the responsibilities of each company and gives Genzyme control over the execution of this program." The Associated Press reports that If the drug is approved as an MS treatment, Bayer will receive payments of up to US$1.25 billion contingent on annual revenue. Genzyme will also pay Bayer up to $500 million over the next eight years for the cancer drugs Fludara and Leukine; there will be no up-front payments to Bayer, which will receive royalty payments as revenue targets are met.

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