Case Detail

Case Summary

Genzyme: The Renvela Launch Decision

Case Number: 5-308-506, Year Published: 2009

HBS Number: KEL412

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Authors: Timothy Calkins; Lynn Harris

Key Concepts

Pharmaceuticals, New Products, Marketing Strategy, Biotechnology, Healthcare, Marketing


Pharmaceutical company Genzyme has created a new drug, Renvela, which is a phosphate binder designed to be used primarily by patients with kidney failure. Renvela is a slightly different version of Genzyme’s highly successful Renagel. Company executives must now decide how best to launch Renvela. Should it replace Renagel? Should it be a premium version of Renagel? Is it worth launching the product at all? The case appears rather simple on the surface, but the questions are challenging to work through.

Spanish translation available.

Learning Objectives

This case, launched with great success in the 2009 Kellogg Biotech and Healthcare Case Competition, can be used to teach growth strategy and new product strategy. It also provides an introduction to the pharmaceutical industry. Students will be given the opportunity to think critically about the role of innovation, risk, and ethics in healthcare-related firms.

Number of Pages: 14

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Biotechnology, Marketing, Strategy

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: United States

Industry: Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals

Organization Name: Genzyme

Organization Department: Marketing

Organization Size: Large

Decision Maker Position: Executive Vice President

Decision Maker Gender: Male

Year of Case: 2007