Progress by Genzyme, the Broad Institute and Medicines for Malaria Ventures Toward Developing Drug Candidates for Malaria Highlighted at Tropical Medicine Meeting



CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Genzyme Corporation (Nasdaq: GENZ), the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, and Medicines for Malaria Ventures (MMV) today announced that its scientists presented several posters, in addition to an oral presentation, this week at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) in New Orleans, La. The research focused on progress these organizations have made through their ongoing collaboration to develop improved treatment therapies for malaria. Genzyme is conducting this research within its Humanitarian Assistance for Neglected Diseases (HAND) initiative, through which the company participates in efforts to advance treatments for neglected diseases.

The presence at ASTMH reflects the progress Genzyme and Broad scientists have made to identify and screen novel drug targets that may be effective against malaria, and move potential therapeutics through the discovery and development pipeline. Of the data presented by the scientists at ASTMH, most significant was the identification of a promising new target that may be potent against malaria. In addition, Roger C. Wiegand, Ph.D., associate director of the Infectious Disease Initiative at the Broad Institute, delivered a talk at an MMV symposium during ASTMH entitled, "Progress and Challenges in Building an Antimalarial Drug Discovery Portfolio.” Dr. Wiegand discussed methods to accelerate the identification of antimalarial candidates through public-private partnership.

“While we are aware of the formidable challenges of developing new drug candidates for malaria, we are nevertheless encouraged by the progress we are making in our research and excited to share our momentum with others in the field,” said Genzyme Senior Vice President of Scientific Affairs, Ted Sybertz.

Roger Wiegand of the Broad Institute noted, "We are very encouraged by the results that are emerging from this remarkable collaboration. We look forward to bringing them to bear on malaria, helping to fulfill an urgent need for improved therapies.”

Abstracts presented at ASTMH included:

  • A Novel Chemotype with Potent Activity Against Plasmodium falciparum and P. berghei
  • High Throughput Screening to Identify Chemotypes as Possible Antimalarials
  • Development of a High Throughput In Vitro Screen to Identify Inhibitors of the Plasmodium falciparum Heat Shock Protein 90 Binding Activity
  • A Medicinal Chemistry Program for the Discovery of Plasmodium Falciparum Dihydroorotate Dehydrogenase Inhibitors with Antimalarial Activity
  • Potent and Selective Inhibitors of Histone Deacetylase in Plasmodium falciparum and P. berghei
  • Identification of Inhibitors of Cofactor-Independent Phosphoglycerate Mutase (iPGM) for Potential Treatment of Lymphatic Filariasis, done in collaboration with New England Biolabs.

Genzyme is one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies, and uses the most advanced technologies in the life sciences to develop treatments for serious diseases. The company supports efforts to discover and advance novel treatments for neglected diseases such as malaria, Chagas disease and African sleeping sickness through its HAND initiative.

Genzyme has partnered with The Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, a research collaboration involving scientists and medical institutions affiliated with both universities. The Broad Institute’s Infectious Disease Initiative focuses on understanding the mechanisms behind infectious diseases and applying this knowledge to the prevention and treatment of these diseases. The primary emphasis is on malaria and tuberculosis, diseases that afflict hundreds of millions of people every year. The partnership between Genzyme and the Broad Institute also includes Medicines for Malaria Ventures (MMV), a non-profit drug R&D organization dedicated to reducing the burden of malaria in disease-endemic countries. After nine years of operation, MMV is managing the largest-ever portfolio of malaria drug research with more than 40 projects in different stages of drug research and development including three new artemisinin combination therapies undergoing or emerging from the stringent regulatory approval process. One of the three is expected to be launched in early 2009.

About Genzyme

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. Since 1981, the company has grown from a small start-up to a diversified enterprise with more than 10,000 employees in locations spanning the globe and 2007 revenues of $3.8 billion. In 2007, Genzyme was chosen to receive the National Medal of Technology, the highest honor awarded by the President of the United States for technological innovation.

With many established products and services helping patients in nearly 90 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 disease, and diagnostic testing. Genzyme's commitment to innovation continues today with a substantial development program focused on these fields, as well as cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and other areas of unmet medical need.

Genzyme’s press releases and other company information are available at www.genzyme.com and by calling Genzyme’s investor information line at 1-800-905-4369 within the United States or 1-678-999-4572 outside the United States.

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