I've been slightly harsh about Genzyme in my last few postings, so I'd like to re-dress the balance somewhat.
Sure, they had a run of 3 bad decisions - buying Novazyme, trying to prevent a patient meeting and putting John Crowley in charge of the Pompe project. However, in the grand scheme of things, those were aberrations that should not detract from the big picture. And I'm in no position to be too critical since, as I've admitted, I was happy enough with two of those decisions at the time.
None of the above means that Genzyme is a bad company. They're not bankers, for goodness sakes. They're just not perfect, that's all.
The big picture is this. Genzyme is a company that does well by doing good. Their products add greatly to the sum total of human happiness and, in many cases, transform patients' lives for the better. They bring hope to people who had none. Sure, it's a business and if it didn't make a profit they wouldn't do it - and they can certainly show some corporate ruthlessness in the pursuit of that profit.
However, I've met many Genzyme employees over the years and two things have struck me about every single one of them. Firstly, they have all been impressive performers - the recruitment bar is clearly set high. Secondly, I always got the impression that it was more than just a job. They believed in what they were doing and were motivated by a genuine desire to help patients. If a company has those fundamentals in place with their staff, it won't go far wrong.
Genzyme have also been generous in their provision of treatments to those parts of the world which cannot afford them, indicating a humanitarian streak. I'm not saying that they are corporate saints - but they are certainly on the side of the angels.
That's enough good things about Genzyme for now. I may well be critical of them again - but I wanted to put that criticism into its proper context.