Updated from 5:43 p.m. EST
Crucell, which is known for vaccines and infectious-disease treatments, said the discussions are at a preliminary stage, and there is no assurance that a transaction will be reached.
The Wall Street Journal, citing people who had knowledge of the situation, reported that a deal with Wyeth could value Crucell at more than $1.35 billion. The report added that another company, perhaps Novartis (NVS - Get Report) or Sanofi-Aventis (SNY - Get Report), could be interested in Crucell, as well.Though M&A activity has been fairly slow in recent months, the drug and biotech sector has seen a few deals, and more could be in its future. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Get Report) recently bought Omrix, while this week, Pfizer (PFE - Get Report) said it was open to acquisitions, and Endo Pharmaceuticals (ENDP - Get Report) set plans to take over Indevus Pharmaceuticals (IDEV). Shares of Crucell jumped 27.6% to $20.50 in regular trading and added another 2.8% to $21.07 after hours. The move put the stock above its old 52-week high of $20.14. Wyeth was unchanged at $38.18 in the late session.