FTC Sues to Block Illumina/Grail Deal
The Federal Trade Commission has filed an administrative complaint and authorized a federal court lawsuit to block Illumina’s $7.1 billion proposed acquisition of Grail — maker of a non-invasive, early detection liquid biopsy test that can screen for multiple types of cancer in asymptomatic patients at very early stages using DNA sequencing. Illumina is the only provider of DNA sequencing that is a viable option for these multi-cancer early detection, or MCED, tests in the United States. The complaint alleges the proposed acquisition will diminish innovation in the U.S. market for MCED tests. MCED tests could be used to detect up to 50 types of cancer, most of which are not screened for at all today, saving millions of lives around the world. Grail is one of several competitors racing to develop these liquid biopsy tests, which analyze a sample of a patient’s blood or other fluid through DNA sequencing.