As Sanofi-Aventis moves closer to acquiring Genzyme Corp, it is being rumoured that the drugmaker is looking at possibly four deals in the ophthalmology sector.

The French newspaper Les Echos has reported that the Paris-headquartered major is looking at three targets in the USA and one in Israel. An article cited unnamed sources as saying that the payments would be spread out over three years, with upfront fees being paid, followed by milestones.

Sanofi is not commenting on the Les Echos story but such a move would not be surprising. Under the leadership of Chris Viehbacher, the firm has hit the acquisition trail with a vengeance and in 2010, nine M&A deals and 28 licensing agreements were inked.

As for the potential Genzyme purchase, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel. Various reports claim that Sanofi has completed due diligence and an announcement could be imminent: its $18.50 billion bid expires tonight (February 15).