Merck & Co is rumoured to be in talks to acquire Cubist Pharmaceuticals with a price of $7-$8 billion being mentioned for the antibiotics specialist.

Reports of a deal surfaced in the New York Times, prompting a 26% leap in after-hours trading for Cubist stock to $93.50. The companies are not commenting on the rumours but the newspaper cited unnamed sources as saying Merck could pay $100 a share, valuing Cubist at about $7.5 billion; a deal could be announced as early as this week, the NYT claims.

Cubist posted revenues of $864.8 million in the first nine months of 2014, most of which came from the antibacterial Cubicin (daptomycin). In June, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Cubist’s Sivextro (tedizolid) for serious skin infections.

A tie-up with Cubist, which is regularly mentioned as a takeover target, would make sense for Merck which recently saw its antibiotic relebactam fast-tracked by the FDA.