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Macrozyme Announces A Collaboration With Genzyme Corporation (GENZ) In Diabetes And Other Possible Indications



11/29/2005 5:54:29 PM

Macrozyme today announced that it has entered into a collaboration agreement with Genzyme Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The exclusive collaboration will explore the applications of Macrozyme’s library of small molecules as new potent inhibitors of glucosylceramide synthase, specifically within the field of diabetes and insulin resistance, along with other possible indications. The library of compounds was discovered and developed by Hans Aerts, Professor of Medical Biochemistry at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Terms of the agreement involve royalties and milestone payments, as well as research funding to Macrozyme.

"This collaboration with Genzyme is an important milestone for Macrozyme" said Chief Executive Officer Edward van Wezel. “Both companies have a strong expertise and focus on metabolic disorders, and Genzyme has an excellent development track record which we believe will enhance the success of the clinical development of a first lead product."

“Various compounds have already shown intriguing results in the decrease of insulin resistance in preclinical models,” said Professor Hans Aerts, Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of Macrozyme. “We look forward to the potential for initiating clinical trials in the near future.”

Macrozyme’s library of compounds is understood to inhibit the glycosphingolipid biosynthesis pathway. High levels of glycosphingolipid are known to be associated with insulin resistance and diabetes.

Diabetes affects over 100 million people worldwide, and is one of the most common chronic conditions in the Western world. The prevalence has tripled in the last 30 years, and much of the increase is due to the dramatic upsurge in obesity. It is most common in adults over age 40, with a growing number of children afflicted, and is associated with obesity, family history of diabetes, and certain racial and ethnic backgrounds.

About Macrozyme

Macrozyme B.V. was founded in 2001 as a spin-off from the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam. The company focuses on the development of new proprietary compounds discovered by Professor Hans Aerts and his group for the treatment of diabetes, inflammatory disorders and lysosomal storage diseases. Macrozyme’s research activities concentrate on the role of glycolipid metabolism in various diseases. For more information, please visit www.macrozyme.com

About Genzyme Corporation One of the world's leading biotechnology companies, Genzyme is dedicated to making a major positive impact on the lives of people with serious diseases. Founded in 1981, Genzyme has grown from a small start-up to a diversified enterprise with 2004 revenues of $2.2 billion and more than 8,000 employees in locations spanning the globe. With many established products and services helping patients in more than 80 countries, Genzyme is a leader in the effort to develop and apply the most advanced technologies in the life sciences. The company's products and services are focused on rare inherited disorders, kidney disease, orthopaedics, cancer, transplant and immune diseases, and diagnostic testing. Genzyme's commitment to innovation continues today with a substantial development program focused on these fields as well as heart disease and other areas of unmet medical need. For more information, please visit www.genzyme.com.

Contact: Macrozyme B.V. Edward C. van Wezel, MSc. Chief Executive Officer Tel.: + 31 (0) 20 5667867 Fax: +31 (0) 20 5669168 e.vanwezel@macrozyme.com


Read at BioSpace.com


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