Sanofi goes back to the negotiation table with Genzyme

With Sanofi-Aventis's $69-per-share offer for Genzyme set to expire January 21, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the companies have resumed negotiations for a potential buyout offer. So far, Genzyme has contended that Sanofi's share offer is too low, and has been underestimating the blockbuster potential of multiple sclerosis drug Lemtrada, also known as Campath. But since no other suitors have shown up at Genzyme's door, the biotech is back to it with Sanofi.

The WSJ says the two sides are now discussing a contingent value right, or CVR, that would boost the offer for Genzyme up to $80 per share, or about $20.7 billion, if sales of Lemtrada meet certain sales and regulatory milestones. Sanofi has yet to conduct due diligence on the drug; that could be the next step if the two sides make progress on the the CVR talks.

In a statement, Sanofi acknowledged that financial representatives from both companies were discussions a CVR for Lemtrada but that there are "significant differences on the terms and conditions of the potential CVR and the value of our offer, and there is no guarantee that the parties will come to an agreement."

- here's the Dow Jones report
- check out the Sanofi statement