Sanofi is selling certain European rights to five consumer healthcare products to fellow French drugmaker Ipsen, in a move that will help progress its planned asset swap deal with Boehringer Ingelheim.

Ispen said it is paying 83 million euros ($88 million) in cash for access to the consumer healthcare products in certain European territories, the most significant of which it considers to be Prontalgine, an analgesic for the treatment of moderate to severe pain,which has grown at double digit rates over the last four years and is available only in France.

The portfolio also includes the antispasmodic Buscopan, the laxative Suppositoria Glycerini, as well as cough/flu medicines Mucothiol and Mucodyne, which combined span a geographic scope of eight European countries, the firm said.

The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including a green light from the European Commission (EC), is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.

Ipsen's Jean Fabre, executive vice president of Primary Care, said the new assets will expand the firm's OTx portfolio and enhances its value proposition to consumers.

"The products are fully synergistic with our existing infrastructure, and the key asset Prontalgine, a well-established and growing market player for pain management in France with mid-30 percent market share, will help us achieve a critical mass at the pharmacy level, accelerating the development of our consumer healthcare business," he noted.

From Sanofi's side, the move stems from the EC's requirement for it to divest certain assets in order to close a proposed consumer healthcare asset swap with Boehringer.

The companies announced plans for an exchange of Sanofi's 11.4 billion euro animal health business (Merial) and Boehringer's 6.7 billion-euro consumer healthcare business in June last year.