Genzyme has completed the sale of its pharmaceutical intermediates business as part of a plan to focus on core growth areas.

Details of the sale to International Chemical Investors Group were not disclosed, but it was revealed that the buyer would start production on materials for a late-stage drug in development for Gaucher disease.

Genzyme itself is in the process of being acquired by French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis, who agreed to pay $20.1bn ($74 per share) after months of intense haggling over the company’s value.

The deal to sell the pharmaceutical intermediates business, as well as its genetic testing and diagnostics products businesses, was agreed prior to the Sanofi-Aventis bid as part of a plan to increase shareholder value.