nearly doubled a day after
agreed to acquire the biotechnology company in a deal worth $1.1 billion.
The purchase values each share of Sirna at $13, more than twice its $6.45 closing price Monday. The stock has a 52-week high of $8.52, but in premarket trading Tuesday, it was surging 99% to $12.82.
Sirna is working on developing a new class of medicines based on RNA interference technology. Therapeutics of this type selectively catalyze the destruction of the RNA transcribed from an individual gene.
One area in which RNA interference shows great promise is in cancer research, Merck said.