American multinational pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. is reportedly inching closer to the acquisition of biotech company Seagen. According to Wall Street Journal, the deal could be worth around $40 billion.
The two companies are still having active discussions but are reportedly close to settling on a $200 per share price. The goal is to wrap up the deal before July 28, when Merck is set to announce its second-quarter earnings. Merck previously bought $1 billion of Seagen’s common stock as part of the deal to co-develop a drug for breast cancer.
The news caused Seagen stock to surge to $184 at one point, representing a five percent jump compared to the closing price on Wednesday. On the other hand, Merck shares saw a minor slide dropping as low as $92.56 per share.
Based in the suburbs of Seattle, Washington, Seagen focuses on developing therapies for cancer treatment. The company is considered the leader in antibody-based treatments, and its current portfolio includes four approved drugs.
Merck, on the other hand, is facing the end of the marketing exclusivity period for its flagship cancer drug Keytruda. The patent protection of Keytruda, which brought Merck $17.2 billion in sales in 2021, is set to expire in 2028.