Jul 7, 2022 - Economy

Merck in talks to buy cancer drugmaker Seagen

A cancer cell.

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Merck is in advanced talks to acquire cancer drugmaker Seagen in a deal that could be worth at least $40 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: This would be the year's largest health care merger, and possibly a top five merger overall (depending on if it tops Elon Musk's $44 billion Twitter bid).

Details: The two sides reportedly hope to finalize a deal before Merck's July 28 earnings release, with price talk north of $200 per Seagen share.

  • That's a decent premium to yesterday's $175.13 closing price, and nearly double a YTD low-water mark of $108.81 on May 9.
  • WSJ previously broke news on early deal talks on June 17.

The bottom line: Merck is seeking to buttress its cancer portfolio revenue ahead of Keytruda losing patent protection at the end of the decade, although adding Bothell, Wash.-based Seagen could draw federal antitrust scrutiny.

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