Illumina (ILMN) Buying Grail In A Deal Valued At $8 Billion

By Amit Chowdhry ● September 21, 2020
  • Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN), a company that provides sequencing and array-based solutions for genetic and genomic analysis, announced that it is buying Grail for $8 billion in cash and stock

Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN), a company that provides sequencing and array-based solutions for genetic and genomic analysis, announced that it is buying Grail for $8 billion in cash and stock. Grail is a company that is developing a blood test for identifying early-stage cancers.

What makes this deal interesting is that Grail spun out of Illumina as a separate company back in 2016. The company was founded by Alex Aravanis and Jeff Huber. Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates are both investors in Grail. Several weeks ago, Grail indicated that it was planning to go public.

Through the acquisition, Illumina is going to have access to Grail’s liquid biopsy blood test called Galleri. Galleri is expected to be available commercially next year.

Illumina is Grail’s largest shareholder with a 14.5% stake. And Grail stakeholders including Illumina will receive $3.5 billion in cash and $4.5 billion in shares of Illumina stock.

Following the launch of Galleri, Grail plans to develop more blood tests for cancer diagnosis and treatments.

KEY QUOTES:

“Over the last four years, GRAIL’s talented team has made exceptional progress in developing the technology and clinical data required to launch the GalleriTM multi-cancer screening test. 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.”

— Francis deSouza, Illumina’s President and Chief Executive Officer

“Cancer is one of society’s most significant challenges, with most cancer being detected too late. We believe multi-cancer early detection technology could address a tremendous unmet need and reduce the cancer burden worldwide. Combining forces with Illumina enables broader and faster adoption of GRAIL’s innovative, multi-cancer early detection blood test, enhancing patient access and expanding global reach. We are excited about this next step in our journey to transform cancer detection and outcomes and create value for patients and their families and communities, health care providers and payors, employers, and stockholders.”

— Hans Bishop, Chief Executive Officer of GRAIL