Note to Pfizer: Bayer shopping for vet buys

Might Bayer be a potential buyer for Pfizer's ($PFE) animal health business? The German drugmaker wants to grow its animal health unit, research exec Andreas Busch tells Dow Jones. Part of that growth would be through acquisition, with another chunk coming from converting human treatments for use in cats and dogs.

Busch wouldn't say just where Bayer might be looking for animal-health buys. But he said the company is definitely scouting the territory. "It would be stupid not to be looking in the present environment for assets in animal health, and we continue to look at attractive assets as they become available," Busch told the news service, "because we believe the animal health business could be a very important pillar of our overall diversified health care strategy."

Like some of its Big Pharma rivals, Bayer has put an increasing focus on its animal health business in recent years. The company has boosted its animal health research and increased ties between its vet R&D and human drug discovery. Human cancer and heart drugs could easily move into the animal-health pipeline, Busch said. Cats, for instance, could benefit from advances in kidney disease and anemia, he suggested.

- read the Dow Jones piece