Genzyme Faces More Setbacks, Humedica Creating a Healthcare “Census,” Pops Back as Alkermes CEO, & More Boston-Area Life Science News

9/30/09

There were a wide variety of developments in the Boston-area life sciences sector over the past week. Companies in the headlines included big ones like Genzyme and Covidien as well as smaller startups such as Humedica and Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals. Here are some highlights:

—We got an early look at Cambridge, MA-based Humedica’s strategy for developing next-generation clinical analytics systems, as well as some insights into why Bain Capital Ventures, General Catalyst Ventures, North Bridge Venture Partners, and Leerink Swann have pumped $30 million into the young company. Company CEO Michael Weintraub talked about how the firm could become a U.S. Census of sorts for healthcare.

Genzyme faced more setbacks due to previously tainted bioreactors at its Allston, MA, plant. The Cambridge -based biotech powerhouse (NASDAQ:GENZ) revealed that it’s going to take longer than expected to resume full production of its enzyme-replacement drug agalsidase beta (Fabrazyme) for Fabry disease. Also, the company is anticipating lower sales than previously estimated for both agalsidase beta and imiglucerase (Cerezyme).

Sirtris CEO Christoph Westphal gave Xconomy the first media interview about a new nonprofit group that he and his colleagues are launching in the Boston area to promote longer healthy lives. Can the red wine chemical resveratrol really help people live longer? Westphal talked about how his new group, the Healthy Lifespan Institute, plans to answer that big question and more.

—After a period of poor stock performance for Cambridge-based biotech Alkermes (NASDAQ:ALKS), company Chairman Richard Pops has jumped back into everyday operations as CEO—a post he left in … Next Page »

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