UPDATE 2-Sanofi lifts profit forecast as Q2 beats expectations
* Aims for 6-8 pct rise in 2014 business EPS up from 4-7 pct
* Q2 sales 8.08 bln euros, EPS 1.17 euros vs forecast 1.14
* Diabetes, Genzyme, emerging markets drive sales
* Shares rise 3.5 pct, had underperformed so far this year (Adds shares, analyst, details on share performance, valuation)
By Natalie Huet
PARIS, July 31 (Reuters) - French drugmaker Sanofi raised its full-year profit forecast on Thursday as it posted stronger than expected quarterly earnings, driven by its rare disease and diabetes businesses and higher sales in emerging markets.
Shares in Sanofi, which have underperformed the rest of the European pharmaceutical industry after a string of disappointing results last year, rose as much as 4 percent.
Sanofi has sought in recent years to shake off the impact of patent losses on big-selling drugs, such as blood thinners Plavix and Lovenox, by betting on diabetes, rare diseases and over-the-counter treatments. It also revamped its research to launch new, harder-to-copy and pricier biologic drugs.
It has invested 1.4 billion euros ($1.9 billion) so far this year to raise to 22 percent its stake in U.S. biotech Regeneron , its partner on several promising experimental drugs. Continuación...