FRANKFURT, April 20 Sanofi is looking
at potential acquisitions of devices, such as blood glucose
testing kits, to boost its diabetes business, a senior executive
at the French drugmaker said on Thursday.
"Yes, there may be assets for sale that come out. We are
looking at this but I cannot tell you positively that we are
going to go for this," Stefan Oelrich, head of diabetes, said at
a media event in Frankfurt.
Johnson & Johnson said earlier this year it was
reviewing strategic options, including the possible sale, for
some of its diabetes care businesses.
Sanofi, which currently has its own very small blood glucose
monitoring operation, is interested in building up drug-device
combinations as it seeks to reinvigorate diabetes sales, which
are struggling in the face of competition.
Oelrich reiterated that Sanofi's diabetes revenue was
expected to shrink by 4 to 8 percent a year on average over
Sanofi's best-selling diabetes product, the long-acting
insulin Lantus, accounted for 17 percent of group sales last
year. But Lantus is being squeezed by pressure on prices in the
United States, where prescriptions of cheaper copies of the
treatment are picking up rapidly.
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Ben Hirschler)