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Illumina Set to Acquire Grail for $8B

Both companies have a rich history, as Grail was spun off from Illumina in 2016.

The rumors are indeed true – Illumina is attempting to acquire early cancer detection specialist Grail for about $8 billion. Both companies issued a statement earlier this morning discussing the proposed deal.

Last week, it was revealed that Illumina had an interest in acquiring Grail, in a report from Bloomberg citing people familiar with the deal. The proposed acquisition comes hot on the heels of Grail announcing it was seeking to go public.

Both companies have a shared history of sorts, as San Diego, CA-based Illumina spun out Grail in 2016. Grail went on to raise nearly $2 billion in funding. Illumina has a 14.6% stake in Grail with about 98.3 million shares.

“Over the last four years, Grail’s talented team has made exceptional progress in developing the technology and clinical data required to launch the Galleri multi-cancer screening test,” said Francis deSouza, Illumina’s president and CEO, in prepared remarks. “Galleri is among the most promising new tools in the fight against cancer, and we are thrilled to welcome GRAIL back to Illumina to help transform cancer care using genomics and our NGS platform. Together, we have an important opportunity to introduce routine and broadly available blood-based screening that enables early cancer detection when treatment can be more effective and less costly.  Multi-cancer early detection is better for patients, their physicians, and payors.  As we accelerate our path to clinical leadership and the path to multi-cancer early detection, we will continue to drive significant value creation for our stockholders.”

Under the terms of the agreement, at closing, Grail stockholders (including Illumina) will receive total consideration of $8 billion, consisting of $3.5 billion in cash and $4.5 billion in shares of Illumina common stock, subject to a collar.  The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2021.

Next-generation sequencing is poised to revolutionize oncology care, and this acquisition allows Illumina to participate more fully in the high-value clinical solutions that are enabled by its NGS sequencing technology.  With Grail, Illumina will continue as a sequencing innovator and partner, while also becoming a proprietary test provider. Illumina said the NGS Oncology Testing Total Addressable Market Anticipated to Grow to $75 Billion by 2035.

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