Guardant Health Inc. is exploring an acquisition of cancer diagnostics and testing firm NeoGenomics Inc., according to people familiar with the matter. NeoGenomics rose more than 13 percent on the news. 

The U.S.-listed companies have held discussions about a possible deal, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details aren’t public. Deliberations are ongoing and there’s no certainty they’ll lead to an offer from Guardant, the people said. 

Representatives for Guardant and NeoGenomics couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

NeoGenomics provides diagnostic services to oncologists, pathologists, pharma companies and academic centers to aid in the treatment of cancers. Its stock rose 12% to $53.96 at 9:30 a.m. in New York, giving the company a market value of about $6.6 billion. 

Its larger peer Guardant fell 8% to $115.01, giving it a market value of about $11.7 billion. 

Any deal would add to $446 billion of transactions in the global health-care industry this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s up more than 86% on the same period in 2020 and makes it already the sector’s third-busiest year on record for dealmaking, the data show.

This week, Merck & Co. agreed to buy Acceleron Pharma Inc. for about $11.5 billion, building out its portfolio of therapies to treat rare diseases.