Is Sanofi preparing a bid for Oxford BioMedica?

Investors have focused their attention on Oxford BioMedica, a struggling UK developer that is the hotly rumored takeover target of Sanofi Aventis. Speculation about a possible buyout drove up Oxford BioMedica stock by 27 percent on Monday as analysts did the math on a possible deal. The company right now would probably fetch around $547 million, analysts tell the Financial Times. But a successful development program for the cancer vaccine TroVax would cost Sanofi--which partnered on the therapy--$753 million. Phase III data on TroVax is due next year while with Phase I/II data this year for a gene therapy aimed at Parkinson's.

"Sanofi Aventis has committed about £350 million and if everything is successful they are never going to pay this when the company is so cheap at the moment," says Navid Malik, an analyst at Collins Stewart. The companies, though, aren't saying anything for now.

- check out the article from the Financial Times