Illumina to acquire developer of blood test to detect cancer

Sept. 25, 2020

Illumina and GRAIL have entered into a definitive agreement under which Illumina will acquire GRAIL, developer of a blood test to detect cancer, for cash and stock consideration of $8 billion upon closing of the transaction, according to a press release.

In addition, GRAIL stockholders will receive future payments representing a tiered single-digit percentage of certain GRAIL-related revenues. The agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of Illumina and GRAIL.

GRAIL was founded by Illumina in 2016 and was spun out as a standalone company to use next-generation sequencing, data science and machine learning to develop blood tests that enable early detection of multiple cancers. GRAIL raised approximately $2 billion to support its technology platform and develop Galleri. An earlier version of Galleri was able to detect more than 50 cancer types, over 45 of which have no recommended screening in the United States.

Galleri is expected to launch commercially in 2021 as a multi-cancer, laboratory-developed test (LDT) for early cancer detection from blood. GRAIL plans to follow Galleri with future blood-based tests for cancer diagnosis, detection and post-treatment monitoring of cancer patients.

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