Sanofi pipeline review overshadowed by Genzyme maneuvers

Sanofi execs are guiding analysts today on its progress with new diabetes and cancer drugs, but most of their guests are likely to be more focused on the painstakingly slow progress of the pharma giant's bid to acquire Genzyme. Dow Jones reported yesterday afternoon that Sanofi's board will gather in coming days to consider a hotly rumored proposal to push up its $69-per-share bid in an attempt to nudge the big biotech's board toward the bargaining table.

Officially, of course, Sanofi's $69 offer is the only item on the table right now. But the bid, a hefty premium over Genzyme's badly beaten down share price over the summer, is a long way from the $80-plus that Genzyme CEO Henri Termeer is looking for. Sources tell Dow Jones that Sanofi could "modestly" raise its offer to get access to Genzyme's books for due diligence. One big factor in the negotiations will be the cost of the consent decree related to Genzyme's manufacturing woes, which FiercePharmaManufacturing reports will hit $3 billion.

Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher will be taking the floor to answer questions today during the pipeline review. It's a sure bet that he'll be expected to say something about Genzyme, though he's been seriously restrained when it comes to on-the-record interviews on the topic.

- here's the story from Dow Jones