Gene therapy company searches for agency

Biotech company Genzyme is on the hunt for a PR agency to handle the firm's UK corporate brand identity.

The firm develops treatments for rare diseases and is a leader in cell and gene therapy in the UK.

'We are looking for an agency to help us expand and up our game in 2008,' said Genzyme government relations director Steve Bates, an ex-special adviser to former home secretary John Reid.

The company intends to appoint an agency by the end of February.

Genzyme currently uses Fleishman-Hillard for its public affairs work and Citigate Dewe Rogerson for PR activity. Neither of these agencies will be affected by the search.

Genzyme will also continue to use agencies to handle activity for individual drugs.

Late last year Genzyme appointed Munro & Forster to handle a European campaign for its kidney drug Renagel (PRWeek, 30 November 2007).

The win was the first time that Genzyme's EU renal team has used an agency for a product-specific campaign. It will target renal specialists across Europe as part of the awareness-raising campaign.

Genzyme has more than 500 employees in the UK and is looking to add to its workforce. It designed the Matrix-induced Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (MACI) cell therapy product for cartilage repair. The innovative cell therapy involves taking living cells from cartilage, growing them on a sheet in a laboratory and then putting them back into the body.

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