Following Pfizer’s plan to acquire Wyeth and Roche’s bid for Genentech, other big pharmaceutical firms may be considering major acquisitions. Sanofi-Aventis is reported to be interested in purchasing Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). The companies currently comarket Plavix. However, BMS’s future patent expirations and changes in leadership at Sanofi-Aventis could deter the deal. Merck & Co. has also expressed interest in larger acquisitions, with Schering-Plough noted by analysts as a possible target. Merck could also choose to only purchase Schering-Plough’s share of the companies’ cholesterol joint venture. Another possibility for Merck is a biotech purchase involving either Gilead Sciences, Biogen Idec or Amgen. Other companies open to large-scale acquisitions are Abbott Laboratories and Johnson & Johnson. AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly & Co. have ruled out major pharmaceutical company purchases.

Source: Dow Jones

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