FDA Jeers Genzyme
Here's a bright idea for the brass at biotech company Genzyme (Stock Quote: GENZ): Before spending big bucks to lobby the government or battle activist investor Carl Icahn for control, maybe you ought to dish out a few dollars to clean your manufacturing plant.
Genzyme said Wednesday that the Food and Drug Administration is taking enforcement action against it after a series of problems stalled the production of its key drugs. The FDA will oversee the inspection of the company's plant operations for an extended period of time. Genzyme will also likely be required to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties.
Sorry, Genzyme, looks like that $750,000 you shelled out to lobby the federal government in the fourth quarter, a number released last Friday, didn't pay off too well, now did it?
In June, the company shut down its manufacturing plant in the Boston neighborhood of Allston for nearly three months to clean up viral contamination that had been slowing down production of top-selling drugs Cerezyme, which treats Gaucher disease, and Fabrazyme, which fights Fabry disease. Then in November, the FDA said it found tiny particles of garbage in drugs made by Genzyme, including steel, rubber and fiber.
Speaking of trash, this latest stink involving Genzyme's management will only boost Carl Icahn's chances of gaining control of the company, according to a number of Wall Street analysts. Icahn, who owns 2% of the company, plans to nominate himself and three of his buddies to the board.
Just thinking about it, Icahn is probably the perfect person to take over this cleanliness-challenged company. Talk about a guy who loves to clean house.
Dumb-o-meter score: 95 -- Forget Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao should square off against Carl Icahn next. That guy will fight anybody.