Illumina buys Jeff Bezos-backed cancer screening startup for $ 8 billion

by bold-lichterman

The American BioTech company Illumina announces the takeover of the startup Grail, specialized in cancer screening, for 8 billion dollars. Illumina launched the startup in 2016 and was its largest shareholder with around 14.5% stake. Since its launch, Grail has garnered the support of renowned investors like Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Jeff Bezos (Amazon). Grail shareholders will receive a number of Illumina shares worth approximately $ 4.5 billion, as well as $ 3.5 billion in cash.

Founded in 1998, Illumina develops and markets DNA sequencing tools and technologies. As part of this acquisition, the company aims to support Grail in the development of its products. Grail, which has raised $ 2 billion since its launch, is developing a blood test to diagnose cancers early so they are easier to treat. “Cancer is one of the most important challenges of society, most cancers being detected too late”, comments Hans Bishop, Managing Director of Grail. “We believe that technology for the early detection of multi-cancers could address a huge unmet need and reduce the burden of cancer worldwide.”

A new test for 2021

This acquisition will allow Grail to speed up the marketing of its multi-cancer screening test scheduled for 2021. Called “Galleri”, it should make it possible to detect a large number of cancers early. “Galleri is one of the most promising new tools in the fight against cancer, and we are delighted to welcome him back to Illumina to help transform cancer care using genomics and our NGS platform”, said Francis deSouza, President and CEO of Illumina.

We have an important opportunity to introduce routine and widely available blood screening that allows early detection of cancer when treatment can be more effective and less expensive. ” This acquisition also allows Illumina to expand its offering with the inclusion of cancer screening, diagnosis and monitoring.