Sanofi taking bids for dermatology franchise

Dermatology drugs aren't growing fast enough. At least not in Sanofi-Aventis' opinion. The company is looking at selling off its U.S. dermatology business, collecting bids for a deal that could be worth $433 million, sources told Bloomberg. Private equity firms are likely bidders, the news service said.

Sanofi confirms it's "exploring strategic alternatives" for its skin-drugs business in the U.S. The move is "in keeping with [Sanofi's] strategy to reallocate resources to high-growth areas including diabetes, oncology and atrial fibrillation," the company told the news service via email. 

It's no multibillion-dollar sale like Pfizer's recent deal for its Capsugel unit. But it's in somewhat the same spirit. By selling off this business--which CEO Christopher Viehbacher (photo) has said is too small, Bloomberg notes--Sanofi would rid itself of one distraction from its focus on those "high-growth areas" mentioned above. "You have to look at our dermatology franchise as either build it or get out of it," Viehbacher said in fall 2009. Apparently, Sanofi decided to get out.

- read the Bloomberg story