Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) has no plans to enter into a bidding war for Genzyme (Nasdaq: GENZ), according to a news report early Tuesday.

Reuters, citing a report in a French newspaper, said GSK wouldn’t compete with Sanofi-Aventis for Genzyme. Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE: SNY) is led by former GSK executive Chris Viehbacher, who has many connections to the Triangle.

"An offer by GlaxoSmithKline for Genzyme does not make sense,” Moncef Slaoui, head of research and development for GSK, told the French newspaper Les Echos. “It is too expensive.”

Slaoui was attending the opening of a GSK research center in France, Reuters said.

"If the best idea is to be found outside the company, it is better to conclude a partnership agreement," Slaoui said.

Sanofi-Aventis has for Genzyme, which is based in Massachusetts.

Genzyme is considered attractive because it has promising drugs for high cholesterol and other disorders in late development and it already sells some lucrative drugs for rare genetic disorders. Like other major drug developers, Sanofi has been buying smaller companies or rights to experimental drugs as it faces more generic competition for blockbuster drugs.

Oppenheimer analyst Dr. Brian Abrahams said that a better deal will likely be negotiated between the companies, despite Sanofi implying it would consider a hostile bid. He said the price could range between $72 and $74 per share, given historical biotech acquisition premiums and Genzyme’s products.

GSK maintains its U.S. headquarters in RTP.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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