Will Illumina Have to Divest Grail?

The San Diego-based company said it will appeal FTC’s order that it should unwind the Grail acquisition.

Omar Ford

April 4, 2023

2 Min Read
Image Credit: Md Saiful Islam Khan via iStock/Getty Images

In August of 2021, Illumina  disregarded concerns brought forward by regulators and pursued its acquisition of Grail, an early cancer detection company. Now that decision is negatively impacting the gene sequencing specialist. 

Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission ordered the unwinding of Illumina’s $8 billion acquisition of Grail. This measure followed the European Court of Justice issuing out a ruling asking for the deal to unwind, too.

FTC’s order prompted Illumina to issue a release saying it would file a petition for review promptly with a US Court of Appeals and will seek expedited treatment of the appeal.  The company said the FTC's order to unwind the acquisition will automatically be stayed pending appeal.

San Diego-based Illumina said it seeks to arrive at a resolution in the US Court of Appeals by late 2023 or early 2024, at about the same time as the decision in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) jurisdictional appeal. 

Illumina said if it doesn’t win the appeal or in the European Court of Justice appeal then it would move expeditiously to divest Grail in a manner that serves the best interests of its shareholders.

As MD+DI has reported and pointed out numerous times, there is some irony in how the Illumina Grail merger is playing out. Recall, Grail was spun out of Illumina in 2016.

The early cancer detection company put a bright spotlight on the liquid biopsy space – with its large clinical trials and above average financing rounds.

Grail would eventually announce it was going to become a public company. However, its IPO dreams were cut a bit short when Illumina announced the acquisition.

MD+DI has named the Illumina/Grail merger as one of 8 Medtech Deals That Broke the Internet.  

About the Author(s)

Omar Ford

Omar Ford is MD+DI's Editor-in-Chief. You can reach him at [email protected].


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