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Aventis Accepts $65.3 Billion Sanofi Takeover Bid; Deal Would Create World s 3rd Biggest Pharma

NEW YORK, April 26 (GenomeWeb News) - After having previously put up heavy resistance to a hostile takeover bid by French drug maker Sanofi-Synthelabo, Aventis said yesterday that it is recommending its shareholders accept the deal in light of improved terms.


In January, Sanofi offered roughly $60 billion to buy Aventis, which rejected the deal as offering "inferior value" to shareholders. This week, however, Aventis said that it has accepted a sweetened offer worth about $65.3 billion from Sanofi.


If accepted by Aventis' shareholders, the merger will create the world's third largest drugs firm behind number one Pfizer and number two GlaxoSmithKline - Aventis generated about $20 billion in net sales last year, while spending roughly $3.4 billion on research and development; Sanofi had sales of about $9.5 billion in 2003, and spent $1.5 billion on R&D.


The two companies also have numerous arrangements with genomics, informatics, and microarray firms, including Ardais, Affymetrix, Ingenuity, Serenex, and Pharsight. Aventis is also developing an antisense-based cancer drug with Genta.


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Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.