Sanofi, which reported higher quarterly profit on Friday boosted by its Genzyme division, is confident Medivation shareholders will back its proposed takeover of the U.S. cancer drug company.

The French drugmaker went public on Thursday with a $9.3 billion offer to buy Medivation after it stonewalled its takeover approach, setting up what could be a lengthy battle.

"We are confident that Medivation shareholders will ultimately share our strong belief that our offer ... would provide significant and immediate cash value," Sanofi Chief Executive Olivier Brandicourt said on a conference call.

Chief Financial Officer Jerome Contamine declined to say whether Sanofi was ready to engage in a bidding war.

Medivation, which markets prostate cancer drug Xtandi, said in a statement that its board would meet to discuss Sanofi's proposal and provide an update "promptly" but added that there was no guarantee a deal would be reached.

The U.S. company said shareholders should take no action at this time.

Shares in Sanofi were down 2.32 percent at 7:43 a.m. GMT (2:43 a.m. EDT) Friday.

Sanofi said first-quarter business net profit grew 3.5 percent at constant exchange rates to 1.72 billion euros ($1.96 billion), equivalent to a 0.2 percent drop on a reported basis.

Sales rose 0.7 percent at constant exchange rates to 8.54 billion euros, down 1.9 percent on a reported basis, Sanofi said, adding that it was confirming its full-year forecasts.

Analysts polled by Reuters had on average expected business net profit of 1.7 billion euros and net sales of 8.73 billion euros.

Revenue at biotech arm Genzyme rose 20.5 percent, with a 134 percent rise in proceeds from multiple sclerosis treatment Lemtrada. Diabetes sales fell 4.5 percent, reflecting the trend of weaker revenue from blockbuster Lantus in the United States.

Sanofi's "main diabetes franchise remains in flux, with the company lowering estimates twice for this business over the last 18 months", Bernstein analyst Tim Anderson said in a note.

"(Sanofi's) research and development track record is not great, and it is guiding for no meaningful earnings per share growth in 2016/2017," said Anderson, who downgraded the stock to market-perform in November.