Genzyme Corp has posted a strong set of results for the first quarter, with growth being driven once again by Cerezyme, Fabrazyme and Renagel.

Net income was $145.3 million, or $0.52 per share, down 8.2% compared with the like, year-earlier period, though the firm noted that it took a charge of 56.5 million related to its strategic investment in Isis Pharmaceuticals which gives Genzyme the rights to the latter’s new lipid-lowerer mipomersen.

Revenues rose 25% to $1.10 billion, driven by sales of Gaucher disease treatment Cerezyme (imiglucerase), up 15% to $304.3 million and Fabry disease drug Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta), which added $116.5 million (+16%) to the coffers. Aldurazyme (laronidase) used to treat the rare genetic disease mucopolysaccharidosis I, increased 38 percent to $37.0 million, while thyroid cancer drug Thyrogen (thyrotropin alfa) grew 28% to $33.8 million.

As for Myozyme (alglucosidase alfa), Genzyme’s treatment for Pompe disease, sales shot up 78% to $67.3 million in the quarter, up 106.6%, and another strong contribution to turnover came from the sevelamer-based kidney disease treatments Renagel and Renvela. Sales of the two grew 23% to $168.7 million.

The company, which also announced plans to build a $90 million R&D centre in China, is focusing on its goal of delivering 20% earnings growth through 2011, according to chief executive Henri Termeer, but Genzyme lowered its full-year earnings forecast, excluding items, by $0.10 to $3.90 per share to reflect a delay in getting approval of larger scale production capacity of Myozyme.

Currently made in a 160-litre bioreactor, the US Food and Drug Administration wants Genzyme to submit a new application for a version made in a 2,000-litre bioreactor. As a result of the regulatory delay, the company cut its full-year Myozyme sales forecast to $275-$285 million from $320-$330 million.