Sanofi puts vaccines, biotech drugs on the buyout menu

Sanofi-Aventis CEO Chris Viehbacher isn't ruling out a mega-merger, but he made it clear in an interview with Bloomberg that the pharma company is really most interested in hunting up billions of dollars of new bolt-on acquisitions--especially in vaccines and biotechnology.

Viehbacher noted that Sanofi (SNY) still has quite an appetite for innovation. BiPar offered the first course last April in a $500 million buyout that contributed a promising breast cancer drug to its pipeline. Sanofi has also been busily beefing up its presence in the vaccines field, but it also has found plenty of new competition in the field. J&J just days ago bought up a sizable minority stake in Crucell and inked a deal to develop new vaccines. Sanofi had expressed an interest earlier this year in buying all of Crucell. And it bought India's Shantha Biotechnics in July.

"There will be more shopping on the horizon," Viehbacher told Bloomberg.  

- read the article from Bloomberg