Honoring a visionary & pioneer.

Henri A. Termeer, 1946 - 2017


“The nature of rare diseases is that it is global.  Treating all patients became natural. It was not a choice. We would treat regardless of circumstance. We became the lifeline for these patients.”


Henri A. Termeer, an icon of the biotech industry and visionary Chief Executive Officer of Genzyme, prior to its acquisition by Sanofi, passed away unexpectedly in May of last year at the age of 71, leaving behind a legacy of entrepreneurial culture that harnesses cutting edge science and innovation to better the lives of patients afflicted with rare genetic diseases. Henri was a forward-thinker whose principles, intuition, community-mindedness, and unwavering determination and commitment to patients have truly transformed the biotech community and its approach to orphan diseases.

Henri set a standard that every patient would be treated regardless of their location or ability to pay. He forged the path for building a sustainable rare disease business, and many have followed his footsteps. Retiring from Genzyme in 2011, after his 28-year tenure, Henri led the company’s growth from a small start-up of 20 to 12,000 employees globally serving patients in more than 90 countries all while establishing Massachusetts as the mecca of biotech.

To honor Henri's legacy and celebrate his many contributions to a thriving industry that he helped build, a number of Henri's friends and industry leaders have come together to form the Henri A. Termeer Tribute Committee, co-chaired by Robert Coughlin, CEO, MassBIO and John Maraganore, CEO, Alnylam, working closely with Belinda and Adriana Termeer.  

Henri in GS Edited.jpg

Honoring Henri


A number of industry leaders have joined forces to form the “Henri A. Termeer Tribute Committee” with the mission to commemorate Henri Termeer’s remarkable stewardship of the local biotech industry and his undeterred commitment to revolutionize the care of patients afflicted with rare diseases. The committee, co-chaired by Robert Coughlin, CEO, MassBIO and John Maraganore, CEO, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, has launched a campaign to pay tribute to Henri with initiatives that include renaming of the “North Plaza” in Kendall Square to “Henri A. Termeer Square,” commissioning the renowned sculptor Pablo Eduardo to create a life-size statue of Henri to be installed in the Square in 2019 with improvements to enhance the function and collaboration of the area, and the establishment of a mentorship initiative in Henri’s honor.

We will provide occasional updates on the Committee's progress, which you can see here.


Make a Contribution

To help fund the ongoing and upcoming initatives, the Henri A. Termeer Tribute Committee has established a fund at the MassBioEd Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity.  Donations in any amount and your generosity are greatly appreciated.  Contributions in the following tiers will receive special recognition.

Special Recognition Contribution Tiers:

  • $25,000 - $49,999 "Innovator"

  • $50,000 - $99,999 "Patient Champion"

  • $100,000 - $249,999 "Pioneer"

  • $250,000+ "Visionary"

Special Recognition

The Henri A. Termeer Tribute Committee would like to thank the following individuals and organizations for the generous contributions to this initiative.



  • Termeer Family

  • Takeda



  • Biogen

  • Jean Hynes & Mark Condon

  • Sanofi Genzyme


Patient Champion:

  • Jeffrey Leerink, Chair & CEO, Leerink Partners

  • John Maraganore, Ph.D., CEO, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

  • Joshua Boger, Ph.D, Founder, Vertex Pharmaceuticals

  • Peter Slavin, M.D., President, Mass General Hospital

  • Molly and David Pyott

  • Ann and Phil Sharp

  • Mike Bonney

  • Alexion Pharmaceuticals

  • Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

  • Biomed Realty



  • Pfizer

  • Shire

  • ProQR Therapeutics

  • Moderna Therapeutics

  • PriceWaterhouseCoopers

  • Vertex Pharmaceuticals

  • The Dyann and Peter Wirth Fund

  • Paul & Chloe Shimmel

  • James C. Foster, President & CEO, Charles River Laboratories

  • Venable Foundation

  • Novartis


In-kind Contributors:

  • Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

  • BioMed Realty

  • MassBio

  • Sanofi Genzyme

  • Suffolk Construction