(Bloomberg) -- China National Pharmaceutical Group Co. is among suitors exploring a potential acquisition of BBI Life Sciences Corp., in a deal that could value the Shanghai-based DNA synthesis products supplier at more than $1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

The state-owned company, known as Sinopharm, has held talks with BBI Life’s founding Wang family about a transaction, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. BBI Life’s owner is also in discussions with other possible buyers, the people said. 

There’s no certainty Sinopharm will proceed with a deal as deliberations are ongoing, the people said. BBI Life declined to comment, while a representative for Sinopharm didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Headquartered in Shanghai, BBI Life Sciences offers products and services in areas including DNA synthesis, genetic engineering and life sciences research consumables, according to its website. It has operations in China, Canada and the US. The company debuted on the Hong Kong bourse in 2014, and was taken private by the controlling Wang family nearly six years later in an HK$845 million ($108 million) deal.

An upstream supplier of raw materials for nucleic acid diagnostic kits, BBI Life Sciences adjusted the production of DNA synthesis and gene synthesis based on research in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, according to its 2019 annual report. It sent 7.9 million probes and primers to diagnostic kit companies by February 2020, the report shows.

Vaccine maker Sinopharm makes one of the two inactivated Covid-19 shots distributed in China. More than 90% of the country’s 1.4 billion people have been fully vaccinated with shots from Sinopharm or Sinovac Biotech Ltd.

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