As SFR went to press, the business newswires buzzed with word that French drug company Sanofi-Aventis was offering $18.4 billion to buy one of Santa Fe’s largest employers, Genzyme Corporation.
Genzyme’s genetics division employs approximately 300 people in Santa Fe. An anonymous Genzyme employee told Reuters last week that “everyone is worried about losing their jobs at all levels, in all divisions.”
In a 2008 press release from the Economic Development Department, Genzyme Operations Director Mike Sapeta said, “We plan to be here [in Santa Fe] for quite some time in the future.”
Genzyme has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in state incentives, including the High Wage Jobs Tax Credit, the Manufacturers Investment Tax Credit and the Job Training Incentive Program. A shift to foreign ownership would not necessarily affect those incentives.
Also last week, NPR’s Morning Edition reported on a first-of-its-kind lawsuit by patients challenging Genzyme’s patent for the drug Fabrazyme; the drug has been in such short supply for so long that patients want the federal government to override Genzyme’s patent and allow another company to produce Fabrazyme. The drug, according to the company’s corporate filings, is manufactured in Massachusetts.