Illumina to buy cancer detection company Grail in $8 bn cash-and-stock deal

Illumina Inc, an American company that develops, manufactures and markets integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and biological function, on Monday announced the signing of an agreement to acquire Grail, a company focused on multi-cancer detection, for a cash and stock consideration of $8 billion. 

In addition, Grail shareholders will receive future payments representing a tiered single digit percentage of certain Grail-related revenues.
Grail, a healthcare company focused on early detection of multiple forms of cancer through improved and rigorous testing of patients. San Diego, California-based Illumina provides a line of products and services that serves the sequencing, genotyping and gene expression, and proteomics markets.
The acquisition of Grail extends Illumina’s portfolio to include cancer screening, diagnosis and cancer monitoring, creating a portfolio of best-in-class, proprietary tests in each of the major oncology testing application areas, Illumina stated in a joint release. 
The total NGS oncology opportunity is expected to grow at a CAGR of 27 per cent to $75 billion in 2035.
Illumina plans to leverage its global scale, manufacturing and clinical capabilities to lead Grail’s commercialisation efforts, realise the total addressable market potential and drive significant growth in the clinical value chain.
“NGS is poised to revolutionise oncology care, and this acquisition allows Illumina to participate more fully in the high value clinical solutions that are enabled by its NGS sequencing technology.  With Grail, Illumina will continue as a leading sequencing innovator and partner, while also becoming a proprietary test provider”, Illumina stated in the release.
The combination will enable us to accelerate the global adoption of NGS-based multi-cancer early detection tests, increase accessibility, and improve patient outcomes. In 2019 alone, there were 15M new cases of cancer and 10M cancer-related deaths – early detection has the potential to change that, according to the release.
Earlier this year, Grail reported positive results from its Circulating Cell-free Genome Atlas (CCGA) study that has enrolled 15,000 participants. The study found that the first version of Galleri reported sensitivity of 44 per cent for stage 1 through 3 tumors, and 67 per cent sensitivity for the 12 deadliest cancers. Further, Galleri was able to detect more than 50 cancers across all stages, more than 45 of which do not have recommended screening in the US. And in 93 per cent of the positive results, the test correctly identified the tissue of origin. All with a specificity of greater than 99 per cent.