Bristol-Myers Squibb plans to buy smaller biopharmaceuticals competitor Aurinia for $3.6 billion.
Sources said the New York-based company had recently contacted Aurinia about the deal, noting that no final decision had been made and Bristol-Myers could choose any potential deal.
Aurinia shares rose 27% to close at $28.00 in New York on Friday.
Officially known as Isotechnika Pharma, Aurinia specializes in treatments for severe autoimmune diseases, according to its website.
It recently introduced an oral treatment for adults with lupus nephritis, a kidney disorder.
The talks come during a boom in healthcare deals, as major drugmakers look to expand their range of products through acquisitions.
On the other hand, Bristol-Myers Squibb plans to sell its stake in Acceleron Pharma after the US company Merck & Co. agreed to buy the biotechnology company for $11.5 billion.
Bristol-Myers is the largest shareholder in Acceleron with an 11.5% stake that accrued to it when it acquired Celgene Corp in 2019. The sale of the stake would complete the sale to Merck.
Merck will need the approval of a majority of Acceleron’s shareholders to complete an offer to purchase all of the company’s shares, among other conditions, according to a Sept. 30 statement.