It has been reported by Bloomberg that Pharmacyclics, which discovered the cancer drug Imbruvica, is looking for buyers and partner Johnson & Johnson and Novartis are cited as possible acquirers.

Shares in the company have shot up and unnamed sources have told the news agency, that a successful bid could be in the region of $17-$18 billion. Its attraction lies in Imbruvica (ibrutinib) which had sales of  $492 last year, but are expected to soar.

Last month, Imbruvia received another approval, for Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, in addition to green lights for mantle cell lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.