TOKYO ( TheStreet) -- Takeda Pharmaceutical , Japan's top drugmaker, explored whether it wanted to pursue a possible acquisition of Genzyme ( GENZ) 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 Sanofi-Aventis ( SNY).

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 Journal reports.

Takeda officials wouldn't comment for the newspaper.

Pfizer ( PFE) and Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) are among the other firms that are considering whether to pursue Genzyme, people familiar with the matter told the Journal.

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

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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