Illumina in talks to buy cancer testing startup Grail: Bloomberg News

A new office building housing genetic research company Illumina is shown in San Diego, California
FILE PHOTO: A new office building housing genetic research company Illumina is shown in San Diego, California, U.S., May 30, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake

September 16, 2020

(Reuters) – Gene sequencing company Illumina Inc <ILMN.O> is in late talks to buy cancer testing startup Grail Inc, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Grail could fetch more than the $6 billion valuation that it had reached from previous fundraisings, the report https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-09-16/illumina-said-to-be-in-talks-to-buy-health-care-startup-grail?sref=vEQJzSks said, adding the companies could announce a deal as soon as this week.

Both Illumina and Grail did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Grail, which is developing a blood test to identify early-stage cancers, was founded by Illumina as a separate company in 2016 and is backed by Amazon.com Inc’s <AMZN.O> founder Jeff Bezos and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates.

Illumina is the single largest shareholder in Grail with a 14.6% stake, according to the company’s filing for a U.S. listing last week.

In January, Illumina ended its $1.2 billion deal to buy smaller rival Pacific Biosciences of California Inc <PACB.O>, after the U.S. competition watchdog filed a complaint to block the purchase.

Shares of Illumina were down 4.8% at $334.9 in morning trading.

(Reporting by Dania Nadeem in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)