In August, Illumina (NSDQ:ILMN) announced that it completed its long-awaited and much-scrutinized acquisition of cancer detection company Grail, but, due to that scrutiny, it will hold Grail as a separate company as the European Commission conducts an ongoing regulatory review.
More than one year ago, the San Diego-based company agreed to acquire Grail, a startup that spun out from Illumina nearly five years ago, for cash and stock consideration of $8 billion. In the spring, the companies had agreed to postpone the merger while the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) challenged the deal. A U.S. judge ruled in favor of an FTC petition to drop its case against the merger without prejudice, a move that allowed the EU to continue investigating the merger.
Illumina will present a jurisdictional challenge in the General Court of the European Union later this year. The company said that while it holds Grail separate while proceedings are ongoing, it can abide by whatever final decision is reached. Should the deal go through, the combined company aims to provide top-of-the-line multi-cancer early detection offerings.
“Just as we are now able to screen for early-stage diabetes and high cholesterol, we will soon be able to conduct multi-cancer early detection with a simple blood test in your doctor’s office,” Illumina CEO Francis deSouza said. “Since early detection of cancer saves lives, this new genomic test will be nothing short of transformational for human health and the economics of healthcare.”