Illumina CEO says GRAIL deal is good for competition

By Reuters3 days ago

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Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The offices of gene sequencing company Illumina Inc are shown in San Diego, California

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The chief executive of life sciences company Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) argued Thursday his company's deal to buy back GRAIL would lead to cheaper cancer tests rather than potentially pushing up prices as the government alleged in seeking to block the $7.1 billion transaction.

Illumina said in a court filing this week that the Federal Trade Commission's request for a preliminary injunction should be denied because its arguments are “hopelessly speculative.“

“This acquisition provides huge benefits to people who may have cancer and don't know it,“ said CEO Francis deSouza.

GRAIL is developing a blood test to screen for many kinds of cancer at early stages, and Illumina is the sole provider of the technology for the DNA sequencing needed for the test or for rivals designing a competing test, the FTC said.

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