Merck & Co is reportedly the latest pharma to consider snapping up US cancer biotech Medivation.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Reuters reported that the firm is one of five pharma companies to have submitted indications of interest in buying the firm.

Sanofi, Pfizer, Celgene and Gilead are also said to be circling Medivation, vying for access to its flagship prostate cancer drug Xtandi (enzalutamide) and two further oncology assets in clinical development.

The firm has already spurned two offers from Sanofi, the last one in July for $58 in cash and $3 in the form of a contingent value right relating to the sales performance of experimental breast cancer drug talazoparib.

The Paris, France-based group, previously said that combining with Medivation "represents a compelling strategic and financial opportunity to drive significant value for the respective companies' shareholders, employees, patients and caregivers".