Genzyme Corp yesterday said it will buy US company Bone Care International in an all-cash $600 million deal, sending the latter’s share price shooting skywards on the news.

The merger, which has already been approved by both boards and is expected to close in the third quarter, will be earnings neutral in 2005 and accretive beyond that. It brings with it a fistful of vitamin D2 products known as Hectorol (doxercalciferol), used to treat a condition known as secondary hyperparathyroidism in patients on dialysis. Hectorol, which reaped almost $60 million dollars during the nine months to end-March 2005, can be used in tandem with Genzyme’s phosphate binder Renagel (sevelamer hydrochloride) for patients with chronic renal disease and, as such, will provide a welcome boost to its product portfolio.

Bone Care recently upped its revenue guidance to a range of $82-$83 million for 2005, ending June 30, on the back on strong third quarter results. And, in a bid to improve further on the smaller company’s success, Genzyme says it will also begin registering Hectorol outside of the USA, with particular focus on Europe and Asia.

Said Henri Termeer, Genzyme’s chairman and chief executive officer: “The addition of the Bone Care organisation and the Hectorol brand will solidify and strengthen our growing renal business, while further broadening our overall product portfolio. This important therapy for patients with earlier stages of chronic kidney disease will provide Genzyme with valuable commercial experience and speed our entry into this much larger market.”