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Genzyme Expanding In Belgium

Company will spend $336.4 million to build a new facility in Belgium that will make its enzyme disorder drugs Myozyme and Lumizyme.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- Genzyme Corp. said Thursday it will spend 250 million euros ($336.4 million) to build a new facility in Belgium that will make its enzyme disorder drugs Myozyme and Lumizyme.

The company said the new facility in Geel will have 8,000 liters of production capacity. It expects commercial manufacturing approvals for the site to begin near the end of 2014. It said the expansion will create about 150 jobs.

Genzyme already has a plant in Geel that can make up to 12,000 liters of the two drugs, and a new bioreactor at that facility is scheduled for approval before the end of 2011. The company employs about 450 people in Belgium.

Pompe disease is a disorder that interferes with muscle development and can cause deadly respiratory problems. Genzyme said about 10,000 people have the disease, and about 1,400 patients are being treated with Genzyme's Pompe drugs. The company said Myozyme is available in 48 countries, and Genzyme expects it to be available in 60 countries by the end of the year.

Sales of both Myozyme and Lumizyme grew 39 percent during the fourth quarter to $128 million.

Shares of Genzyme rose 4 cents to $71.99 in morning trading.

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