“You need courageous people, who pursue their goals believing it is all extremely worthwhile and who surround themselves with highly skilled and equally passionate people”

Henri Termeer


Henri Termeer is born on February 28th, 1946, to Mary and Jacques Termeer in the Netherlands


Henri enrolls at the Economische Hogeschool, Eramus University, Rotterdam, to study economics


Henri departs in August for the United States to attend the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, Charlottesville


Henri graduates from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business with his Masters in Business Administration Henri joins Baxter Travenol as Assistant to the Vice President of International Marketing, based in Chicago


Henri holds multiple roles with Baxter, both in the US and Europe


Founded by scientist Henry Blair, entrepreneur Sheridan Snyder, the venture capitalists at Oak Investment Partners, Genzyme is incorporated in Delaware


The Orphan Drug Act is signed into law by President Ronald Regan

October 1983

Henri Termeer joins Genzyme Corporation Boston, MA as the company’s President & Director


Ceredase clinical trials initiated, Brian Berman becomes the first Gaucher disease patient treated with enzyme replacement therapy and is dosed with human placental glucocerebrosidase.

March 1985

In March, Ceredase is designated an orphan drug by the FDA


Henri Termeer is named Genzyme Corporation’s CEO

June 1986

Genzyme becomes a public company with an IPO


Henri is elevated to Chairman, President & CEO, Genzyme Corporation


Genzyme is given rights to make Ceredase available to seriously ill patients prior to full marketing approval Genzyme acquires Integrated Genetics, a critical step in building its mammalian cell culture production capability


Ceredase is approved by the U.S. FDA for the treatment of Gaucher disease, a disorder estimated to affect only 5,000 patients worldwide


Henri becomes a naturalized U.S. citizen

2003 & 2006

Additional rare disease therapies are approved by the U.S. FDA


The crisis at the Allston Landing manufacturing site begins as a contamination is announced and the plant is shut down to be decontaminated, leading to product outages and rationing


Sanofi Aventis approaches Genzyme to commence merger discussions


Sanofi’s acquisition of Genzyme closes


Henri begins a six-year period of mentoring scores of leaders, accepting and fulfilling the duties of many board directorships, backing life science entrepreneurs, investing in young promising biotechnology enterprises and serving others- in the corporate as well as not-for-profit arenas


Made possible through a generous gift, the Henri and Belinda Termeer Center for Targeted Therapies is dedicated and opened at Massachusetts General Hospital


May 12, 2017, at the age of 71, Henri Termeer passed away in Marblehead, MA


The Termeer Fellows program is inaugurated, to honor Henri’s dedication to mentoring the next generation of leaders


The Termeer Foundation is founded by Belinda Termeer and Alan Walts


Henri A. Termeer Square is dedicated and open to the public in the heart of Cambridge’s Kendall Square

Timeline adapted from Conscience and Courage by John Hawkins