The rumored Pfizer plans of a stake in Sanofi have been widely covered in the press and elsewhere. Pharmalyst read one interesting article in Forbes magazine (alas he can't find the link any more) which made the right case that Pfizer should not buy Sanofi but instead should form an alliance with them.
Buying a French "national champion" is never easy politically & given Sanofi's size this is no cakewalk for Pfizer. From an alliance perspective though a number of planets line up:
- Sanofi is coming up with a Zetia like molecule. This could present some interesting combination opportunities with Pfizer's Lipitor?
- They could leverage Pfizer' s US sales & marketing machine for their smoking cessation treatment dianicline
- Both companies are also researching obesity/diabetes compounds (similar class as Accomplia). Perhaps there exist some opportunities to pool risks.
Mega mergers haven't worked but alliances in the industry seem to have (Schering - Merck on Vytorin, Bristol - Sanofi on Plavix, Pfizer - Eisai on Aricept, J&J - Bayer on rivaroxaban(perhaps?) etc). Time for Pfizer to consider such an alliance with Sanofi.