Genzyme continued the run of strong financial results in 2005 after saying that it expects a fourth quarter revenues rise of 22% to $722 million dollars, albeit a fraction below analysts expectations.

Genzyme CEO presented the firm’s preliminary results at the JP Morgan Annual healthcare Conference in San Francisco yesterday, ahead of the official audited release scheduled for February 15. No guidance was given on earnings for 2005.

Genzyme’s top-selling product Cerezyme (imiglucerase for injection) for the inherited condition Gaucher disease brought in revenues of $232 million, although at 6% growth in this product is showing signs of slowing down.

That said, Genzyme is working hard to reduce its reliance on Cerezyme and was particularly encouraged by the performance of its other, newer products. Renagel (sevelamer hydrochloride) for kidney disease saw sales increase 12% to $111 million, while Genzyme’s fastest-growing product was Fabry disease treatment Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta), coming in at $81 million, up 27%. Aldurazyme (laronidase) for mucopolysaccharidosis I were up a third to $21 million, while thyroid cancer drug Thyrogen (thyrotropin alfa) rose 18% to $21 million.

Commenting on the performance, Mr Termeer said: "We delivered strong financial results while solidifying our diversified business model by expanding our product portfolio,” as well as boosting manufacturing capabilities and making progress with its product pipeline.

For the full year, Genzyme’s revenue grew 24% to $2.7 billion. Looking ahead to 2006, the company said it expects full-year revenues in the $3.1-$3.3 billion range, helped by the anticipated approval of Pompe disease drug Myozyme (alglucosidase alfa) in the USA and Europe in the first half of 2006. If cleared, Myozyme would be the first treatment for the disease, debilitating, progressive and often fatal muscular disorder.

Earnings per share should come in at $1.78-$1.88, Genzyme added.