(Bloomberg) -- U.S. medical technology company Fluidigm Corp. is exploring a sale, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The company is working with an adviser to field interest from potential acquirers, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Fluidigm could attract other health-care companies as well as private equity firms, the people said.

Deliberations are ongoing, and there’s no certainty they will lead to a transaction, the people said. A representative for Fluidigm declined to comment.

Shares of Fluidigm have risen 5.8% this year, giving the South San Francisco-based company a market value of about $476 million. The shares rose more than 10% after the close of regular trading Tuesday.

Fluidigm’s laboratory equipment helps researchers analyze cells and genomes to target conditions like cancer and immune dysfunction. The company released a Covid-19 saliva test that received emergency use authorization last August from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Mergers and acquisitions involving health-care companies have nearly tripled this year to $350.7 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Medical diagnostics and equipment companies have been in strong demand, with Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. making a failed attempt last year to acquire European rival Qiagen NV.

(Updates with share gains Tuesday in fourth paragraph)

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