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23 September 2020AmericasSarah Morgan

Illumina to acquire Jeff Bezos-backed cancer testing company

Genetic sequencing company Illumina is set to pay $8 billion for Grail, a cancer detection company that was spun out of Illumina four years ago.

Announced on Monday, September 21, the deal comes a few weeks after Grail—which is backed by investors including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and philanthropist Bill Gates— filed to go public.

Grail is developing Galleri, an investigational multi-cancer early detection blood test. According to the company, an earlier version of Galleri was able to detect more than 50 cancer types, more than 45 of which have no recommended screening in the US.

Galleri is expected to launch commercially in 2021 as a multi-cancer, laboratory developed test for early cancer detection from blood.

Francis deSouza, Illumina’s president and CEO, said: “Over the last four years, Grail’s talented team has made exceptional progress in developing the technology and clinical data required to launch the Galleri multi-cancer screening test.”

Grail plans to follow Galleri with more blood-based tests for cancer diagnosis, detection and post-treatment monitoring of cancer patients.

Hans Bishop, CEO of Grail, added: “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.”

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7 December 2020   Pharmaceutical companies Illumina and Roche have been sued for allegedly infringing two patents covering the technology for non-invasive DNA testing by Maryland genetic testing company Ravgen.
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14 May 2020   Natera has agreed to license Illumina IP covering non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), in a deal that sees the pair settle all outstanding patent litigation over the technology.

More on this story

Americas
7 December 2020   Pharmaceutical companies Illumina and Roche have been sued for allegedly infringing two patents covering the technology for non-invasive DNA testing by Maryland genetic testing company Ravgen.
Americas
13 August 2020   Beijing-based BGI Genomics can continue to develop its DNA sequencing technology pending an appeal in a patent dispute with Illumina, a US federal court has ruled.
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14 May 2020   Natera has agreed to license Illumina IP covering non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), in a deal that sees the pair settle all outstanding patent litigation over the technology.