Tuesday, February 04, 2003

no comment [FT]
Serono marked the completion of its transformation into a pure biotechnology company yesterday with the announcement that it was closing its business of fertility treatments derived from nuns' urine.

Founded in Rome at the start of the last century, the group developed one of the most unusual medicines in the healthcare industry, collecting urine from post-menopausal women and distilling it into hormones.

At its peak, the operation collected 80m litres of urine a year from women around the world, with convents often the most convenient source of large quantities.

Over the past decade, Serono, now based in Geneva, has developed several genetically engineered versions of the same hormones which are more consistent, more effective and more profitable.

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