Illumina to pay $8 billion for Jeff Bezos-backed cancer testing firm Grail

Dixie

Jay Flatley, CEO of Illumina.

Mark Neuling | CNBC

Gene sequencing company Illumina will pay $8 billion in cash and stock to buy cancer screening startup Grail, the companies said on Monday.

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 founder Jeff Bezos and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates.

The deal would give Illumina access to Grail’s test for early detection of cancer from blood called Galleri, which is expected to launch commercially in 2021.

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

Earlier this month Grail, in which Illumina is the biggest shareholder with a near 14.5{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} stake, filed for a U.S. initial public offering, without disclosing the offering size.

Under the terms of the agreement, Grail stockholders, including Illumina, will receive $3.5 billion in cash and $4.5 billion in shares of Illumina common stock.

Grail stockholders will also receive future payments representing a tiered single-digit percentage of certain Grail-related revenue.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the deal on Monday, citing sources.

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