Illumina (NSDQ:ILMN) announced today that it disagrees with and will oppose the FTC’s challenge to its acquisition of Grail.
San Diego-based Illumina announced in September that it entered into an agreement to acquire the cancer detection startup that spun out from the company four years ago for cash and stock consideration of $8 billion.
Founded in 2016, Grail spun out as a standalone company powered by Illumina’s NGS technology for developing data science and machine learning for enabling multiple cancers in early detection tests. It raised approximately $2 billion to support its platform and develop the Galleri multi-cancer screening test, which is set to commercially launch this year.
Illumina said in a news release that it will pursue its right to proceed with the transaction so it can adopt the multi-cancer early detection blood test from the company it founded and a company with which it does not compete.
Through the acquisition, Illumina had planned to use its manufacturing and clinical capabilities and its regulatory and reimbursement expertise to accelerate the progress of multi-cancer testing.
Illumina called the FTC’s challenge to the proposed transaction “a marked departure from longstanding antitrust precedent.” The company plans to pursue all legal options to complete the acquisition.
“Illumina’s commitment to advancing human health by innovating next-generation sequencing is unwavering. Improving early cancer detection is the most promising approach to bending the cancer mortality curve,” Illumina CEO Francis deSouza said in the release. “We have a deeply vested interest in ensuring that all organizations have equal and fair access to high quality, reliable and cost-effective sequencing to enable them to develop breakthrough products, such as liquid biopsy, and make them accessible to the greatest number of patients possible, quickly and safely.”