NEW YORK (AP) – Drugmakers Pfizer and Wyeth are closing in on a deal worth $68 billion that could be announced before the markets open Monday, according to published reports.

The New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported Sunday evening that Pfizer, the maker of Lipitor and Viagra, is working to finish financing for the acquisition.

The deal calls for Pfizer would pay $50.19 a share for the company, with about two-thirds of the price in cash and one-third in stock, the papers reported. It would include about $25 billion in bank financing.

Sources at Pfizer could not be immediately reached for comment. A Wyeth spokesman said the company had no comment.

A deal would increase Pfizer’s revenue by half and add strength in biotech drugs, vaccines and over-the-counter products, including the Advil and Robitussin brands.

A deal would help Pfizer cushion itself against a steep revenue decline expected over the next several years as Lipitor, the world’s best-selling drug, and other major products lost patent protection. The drugmaker is expected to lose billions of dollars in sales to cheaper generics.

Lipitor is set to face generic competition starting in November 2011. Pfizer is expected to lose patent protection on products representing more than 70 percent of its 2007 revenue by 2015.

The “patent cliff” Pfizer faces hasn’t been helped by weakness in new products, despite $7.5 billion in yearly research spending.

Acquiring Wyeth would transform Pfizer from a pure pharmaceutical company into a broadly diversified health care giant.

That, given Wyeth’s huge presence in biotech drugs, vaccines including the blockbuster pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar, veterinary medicines and consumer health products.

Pfizer’s run of iconic blockbusters – Viagra, Lipitor, antidepressant Zoloft, plus blood-pressure blockbuster Norvasc – is long past, and its research labs have been so unproductive that it closed its mammoth research lab in Ann Arbor, Mich., about a year ago and now is laying off 800 more research staffers.

Lyrica for nerve pain and fibromyalgia is now a $2.5 billion-a-year product, but smoking cessation treatment Chantix hasn’t lived up to expectations because of links to depression and suicidal thoughts.

Its high-profile effort to come up with a Lipitor successor flamed out when torcetrapib had to be axed in late-stage testing because it triggered heart problems. Last fall, Pfizer publicly conceded that failure when it eliminated all new research on heart disease, the world’s top killer.

Biotech drugs, produced in living cells, are seen as hot commodities because they generally command high prices and have little to no risk of generic competition. Wyeth’s offerings include blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel (sold jointly with Amgen Inc.), and hemophilia treatments Refacto, BeneFIX and Xyntha.

A business combination would also allow the merged companies to slash costs with another round of job cuts in areas with significant overlap, from administration to research to sales.

The deal would be the largest acquisition in the drug industry since Pfizer bought Warner-Lambert Co. for $93.4 billion in 2000, the Journal reported.

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