Illumina to divest cancer test maker Grail if it loses US or EU court appeal

(Reuters) -Illumina Inc said on Wednesday it will divest cancer test maker Grail as expeditiously as possible if the life sciences company loses either of the final appeals in U.S. or European courts.

The company also said that if it wins both the cases, it will reassess Grail’s assets, which might result in integrating or divesting part or the entire unit.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that Illumina is expected to get an order from EU antitrust later this week to sell Grail, which develops blood-based early cancer detection tests.

Illumina completed its $7.1 billion takeover of Grail in August 2021, despite opposition from the European and U.S. regulators, and was fined a record 432 million euros ($458.65 million) by the EU earlier this year over the deal.

The deal was opposed on concerns that the takeover would stifle competition in the U.S. market, giving Illumina an incentive to cut off Grail’s rivals from accessing the genetic testing company’s technology to develop early cancer detection tests.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has also ordered Illumina to divest Grail, which the San Diego, California-based company appealed against in June.

The FTC, which enforces antitrust law in the United States, first filed a complaint in March 2021 to stop Illumina’s bid for its former subsidiary, Grail.

In 2016, Illumina had spun off Grail, and retained a 12% stake.

($1 = 0.9419 euros)

(Reporting by Sriparna Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)