Genzyme Lets Sanofi Conduct Due Diligence

Xconomy Boston — 

Cambridge, MA-based biotech Genzyme (NASDAQ: GENZ) announced that its board has authorized the company to enter into a confidentiality agreement with Sanofi-Aventis to allow the firm to conduct due diligence on Genzyme, as part of Sanofi’s pursuit to purchase the biotech company. Genzyme has previously turned down Sanofi’s $18.5 billion ($69-per-share tender offer), but today’s announcement suggests that discussions surrounding the deal are advancing. The announcement also revealed that Genzyme and Sanofi are exploring the potential of a contingent value right for alemtuzumab, a Genzyme drug that is in late-stage development as a treatment for multiple sclerosis, as a way to resolve the differences between the two companies in the buyout discussions. Genzyme has previously stated that the Sanofi offer undervalues the company and its pipeline of drugs, including alemtuzumab.