Rumours suggest that Genzyme would consider accepting lower value takeover bids that take into account future performance of its cancer drug Campath in MS indications.
The speculation, reported in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, is the latest twist in the acrimonious takeover battle with French suitor Sanofi Aventis, a major sticking point of which has been the firms’ differing peak sales forecast for the drug.
According to the paper Genzyme is looking at a contingent value right (CVR) deal that would let Sanofi, or oanother suitor, pay a lower price on the understanding that the bidder stumps up the extra cash if Campath goes on to meet with the US biotech’s forecasts.
These rumours, which have been neither confirmed of denied by Genzyme at this time, were accompanied by speculation in a Bloomberg report that Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Takeda and Merck & Co would be interested in such a deal structure.
Additionally, UK drug major and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was also said to be involved, although the firm has since said that it is not interested in acquiring the US biotech.
Sanofi, which launched its hostile $18.5bn (€13.6bn) takeover bid for Genzyme in October after several months of talks and an open letter to shareholders, has not yet commented on the latest development.
In related news Genzyme has confirmed that it will sell its diagnostics division to Japans Sekisui Chemical for an undisclosed sum.
The deal, which was reported by the Boston Globe last week, includes the unit’s operations at a number of manufacturing sites in the US and Europe and 475-employee strong workforce.
The sale is the latest stage in the strategic refocusing plan that Genzyme CEO Henri Termeer announced in May after a year dominated by manufacturing problems at the firm’s facility in Allston, Massachusetts.
This refocusing process began in September when Genzyme sold its genetics testing business, which provides test for cancers and reproductive disorders among others, to Lab Corp for $925m.
Now, with the diagnostics hive-off confirmed, the US biotech only need to find a buyer for its Switzerland-based chemical intermediates business to complete its realignment.