• Merck & Co Inc (NYSE: MRK) is pushing forward with a potential deal for Seagen Inc (NASDAQ: SGEN), Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

  • The Journal mentioned that the deal could be one of the largest takeovers of the year.

  • The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Merck was in talks to buy Seagen, which would bolster the pharma giant’s cancer-drug portfolio, but no agreement was imminent.

  • Related: SVB Leerink’s Pro-forma Analysis Of Speculated Merck/Seagen Deal – What Investors Need To Know.

  • The talks have picked up the pace. The companies are scheduled to meet this week, some people said.

  • WSJ could not tell if Merck had already submitted a formal offer for Seagen.

  • Merck may not be the only suitor, with others also eyeing the cancer-focused biotech, some people told WSJ.

  • The WSJ report notes the tricky nature of the deal, given the heightened risk of a regulatory challenge.

  • Through a 2020 deal, Merck acquired 5 million shares of Seagen for $1 billion. It also paid $600 million upfront for Seagen’s LIV-1-targeting antibody-drug conjugates, including the most advanced ladiratuzumab vedotin for breast cancer and other solid tumors.

  • The companies have also teamed up on Seagen’s HER2 small molecule drug Tukysa. Merck holds Tukysa rights in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.

  • Price Action: SGEN shares are up 3.45% at $180.00, and MRK stock is down 0.25% at $91.77 during the premarket session on the last check Friday.

See more from Benzinga

  • The Daily Biotech Pulse: F-Star Therapeutics Buyout, Orphan Drug Tag For VBI’s Brain Cancer Vaccine, Xenon’s Epilepsy Candidate Shows Promise

  • SVB Leerink’s Pro-forma Analysis Of Speculated Merck/Seagen Deal – What Investors Need To Know

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