Case Detail

Case Summary

Genzyme: The Synvisc-One Investment Decision

Case Number: 5-110-001, Year Published: 2010, Revision Date: June 11, 2014

HBS Number: KEL439

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Authors: Timothy Calkins; Ann Deming

Key Concepts

Financial Analysis, Investment Decisions, Marketing Strategy, Clinical Trials, Biotechnology, Medical Devices


Executives at biotechnology firm Genzyme are debating funding a clinical trial for a new version of a medical device called Synvisc. The trial is expensive and the odds of success are not high, but the upside is substantial. The case presents a common business question: invest or not? The case forces students to think about customer insights, wrestle with a number of complex issues, and evaluate the financials of the decision.

Learning Objectives

The case is ideal for teaching financial analysis and decision making. It can also be used to teach marketing, new product strategy, and healthcare industry management.

Number of Pages: 15

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Biotechnology, Finance, Management, Marketing, Strategy

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: United States

Industry: Biotechnology, Medical Devices

Organization Name: Genzyme Corporation

Organization Size: Large

Decision Maker Gender: Male and Female

Year of Case: 2007