Following a month of frustration, Sanofi is now pressing Medivation, which sells a blockbuster prostate cancer treatment, to accept a takeover offer that values the drug maker at roughly $9.3 billion.
The move comes amid growing interest among the largest pharmaceutical companies to bolster their portfolios of cancer drugs. The Xtandi treatment that is marketed by Medivation posted global sales of $1.9 billion last year, but could generate much more if the medicine is eventually approved to treat earlier stages of prostate cancer.
The bid is a necessary gambit for Sanofi, which is struggling to overcome ongoing weakness in its key diabetes franchise. Sanofi has encountered price discounting in the long-acting insulin market, which the company has dominated in the US thanks to its Lantus product. But Sanofi faces pressure from payers seeking discounts and forthcoming competition from a lower-cost biosimilar version.