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Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Enzon Pharmaceuticals Inc., a developer of cancer treatments, said it’s considering selling all or part of the business after billionaire investor Carl Icahn expressed interest in talking to the company.

Lazard Ltd. was hired to help explore the possibility of a sale, Piscataway, New Jersey-based Enzon said today in a statement. To conserve cash, Enzon suspended development and testing of its androgen receptor treatment.

Icahn said Nov. 28 he had informed the company that he wanted to discuss its operations, direction and plans to manage expenses, according to a regulatory filing. Icahn’s firm owned 13.3 percent of Enzon shares as of Nov. 9. Enzon has a treatment for breast and colorectal cancer in the second of three stages of development typically needed to get regulatory approval.

“Enzon’s drug candidates and technologies offer the potential for a variety of transactions,” Alex Denner, chairman of Enzon’s board, said in the statement.

Enzon rose 3 percent to $4.71 at 4 p.m. New York time. The shares have fallen 30 percent this year, giving the company a market value of $209 million.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shannon Pettypiece in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at

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