NEW YORK (AP) — Pfizer Inc., the world’s largest drugmaker, may be seeking to buy rival Wyeth in a deal that could be valued at more than $60 billion. The move would bolster Pfizer’s array of products and help the company deal with expiring patents and diminishing returns on research. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the companies have been in talks for months, although any deal is not near completion and the state of the global markets could undo any plans. If Pfizer does buy Wyeth, it would add Wyeth’s antidepressant Effexor and biotech drugs like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis drug Enbrel and Mylotarg for cancer. Representatives for both Wyeth and Pfizer declined to comment. Pfizer is the world’s top drugmaker by revenue, lead by the blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor, which tallies about $13 billion in annual sales. However Lipitor is likely to face generic competition in late 2011. Wyeth, the twelfth-largest drugmaker, is in a similar position, as Effexor will lose patent protection in 2010. Patent protection on the antibiotic Zosyn and heartburn drug Protonix ended in 2008. Earlier this month, Wyeth said most of the company’s revenue now comes from sales of vaccines and biotech drugs and veterinary medicines, rather than from sales of traditional pharmaceuticals. Analysts have predicted tie-ups in the pharmaceutical industry in recent months as the companies prepare for a wave of major patent expirations over the next few years. Pfizer and Wyeth have slashed jobs and costs to prepare for that period. At the same time, the Food and Drug Administration has become more reluctant to approve new drugs, leading to greater research costs. Pfizer and Wyeth have responded by focusing on specific areas: in September, Pfizer said it would concentrate on Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, schizophrenia, pain, inflammation and diabetes, leaving other fields like heart drugs behind. Wyeth also chose six core areas: cancer vaccine and drugs, neurological disorders, inflammation, metabolic disorders and muscoloskeletal conditions. At more than $60 billion, the price tag would dwarf Eli Lilly & Co.’s buyout of biotech cancer drug maker ImClone Systems in October. Like Pfizer, Lilly is looking at a major patent expiration in the coming years, as its antipsychotic drug Zyprexa will be vulnerable to generic competition in 2013. Shares of Madison, N.J.-based Wyeth jumped $4.72, or 12.2 percent, to $43.55 in premarket trading. The stock closed at $38.83 Thursday and has traded between $49.80 and a 12-year low of $28.06 in the past 12 months. Wyeth’s market capitalization is $51.7 billion. Pfizer shares declined 37 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $16.84. In November, Pfizer shares set an 11-year low of $14.26. The stock was worth $17.21 at the end of trading on Thursday. The New York-based company has a market capitalization of about $116 billion. Pfizer will report its fourth-quarter results Wednesday, followed by Wyeth on Thursday.