The two companies were initially discussing a future partnership before shifting to a takeover negotiation, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Gilead Sciences Inc pharmaceutical company is seen in Oceanside, California, US, on April 29, 2020.
Gilead Sciences Inc pharmaceutical company is seen in Oceanside, California, US, on April 29, 2020. (Reuters Archive)

Gilead Sciences Inc is nearing a deal to buy biopharmaceutical company Immunomedics Inc for more than $20 billion in a transaction that would further expand Gilead’s portfolio of cancer treatments, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

A deal for Immunomedics, whose cancer therapy Trodelvy is FDA-approved as a third-line treatment for an aggressive type of breast cancer called Metastatic Triple-Negative Breast Cancer, could be announced on Monday if not sooner, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Discussions between Gilead and Immunomedics were initially centred around a partnership before shifting to a full-fledged takeover negotiation, the Journal added.

Shares of Immunomedics, which last month reported positive data from a late-stage confirmatory study for Trodelvy, have nearly doubled this year, giving the company a valuation of close to $10 billion.

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Expanding oncology portfolio

An acquisition of Immunomedics would add to several deals Gilead inked this year with the aim of expanding its oncology portfolio.

It bought a 49.9 percent stake in cancer drug developer Pionyr Immunotherapeutics in June for $275 million, just months after paying $4.9 billion for Forty Seven Inc, maker of an experimental treatment that targets blood cancer.

READ MORE: US FDA may announce emergency use of Gilead's coronavirus drug

Source: Reuters