January 9, 2009 / 9:14 AM / 11 years ago

Sanofi-Aventis no comment on report eyeing Crucell

PARIS (Reuters) - French pharmaceutical group Sanofi-Aventis (SASY.PA) declined comment on Friday on a report it was considering a takeover bid for Dutch vaccine maker Crucell NV CRCL.AS.

The Les Echos newspaper cited a source close to the matter as saying the French company had made no decision yet on an offer but a bid was likely to be made.

Shares in Crucell, which late on Wednesday said it was in friendly merger talks with U.S. drugmaker Wyeth WYE.N, were down 0.9 percent at 16.35 euros after soaring 42 percent on Thursday.

Natixis analysts welcomed the prospect of a bid, saying Sanofi’s existing vaccines portfolio meant the combination of the two companies would make sense for Sanofi.

“If the acquisition goes ahead, it should be welcomed by the market,” they said in a note on Friday.

At 0820 GMT, Sanofi-Aventis shares were up 0.5 percent at 47.04 while the DJ Stoxx European healthcare index was up 0.6 percent.

Crucell is developing an influenza vaccine with Sanofi-Aventis, based on its PER.C6 gene technology, which uses human cells as a platform to produce drugs.

Reporting by Matt Gil; Editing by David Holmes

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