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Crucell Has Had Merger Talks With Wyeth

Updated from 5:43 p.m. EST

Dutch biopharmaceutical company Crucell (CRXL) said Wednesday it has been involved in talks that could lead to its acquisition by Wyeth (WYE).

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) or Sanofi-Aventis (SNY), 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) recently bought Omrix, while this week, Pfizer (PFE) said it was open to acquisitions, and Endo Pharmaceuticals (ENDP) 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.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.

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