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) --

Takeda Pharmaceutical

, Japan's top drugmaker, explored whether it wanted to pursue a possible acquisition of



but is unlikely to do so, the

Wall Street Journal

reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

Genzyme has been trying to fend off an $18.5 billion hostile bid from France's


(SNY) - Get Sanofi Report


Genzyme said last month it was evaluating alternatives, including reaching out to other companies. The biotechnology company isn't actively soliciting a "white knight" to counter Sanofi's offer, but the board wants thorough information about its value in the market and to know what its options are, the


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Takeda officials wouldn't comment for the newspaper.


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Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson Report

are among the other firms that are considering whether to pursue Genzyme, people familiar with the matter told the



The process is in the early stages and no decisions are imminent, the people added.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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Joseph Woelfel

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