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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