A brand new workplace constructing housing genetic analysis firm Illumina is proven in San Diego, California, U.S., Might 30, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
August 24, 2021
By Mike Scarcella
(Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Commerce Fee on Tuesday mentioned it seeks to unwind life science firm Illumina Inc’s $7.1 billion acquisition of Grail Inc, alleging it could hurt innovation and enhance costs.
FTC senior counsel Susan Musser mentioned in her opening assertion at a trial in Washington that most cancers test-detection firm Grail and its rivals depend on San Diego, California-based Illumina’s DNA sequencing know-how. She argued that Illumina’s buy of Grail would give the corporate the “incentive and talent to foreclose downstream rivals.”
Antitrust attorneys are intently monitoring https://www.reuters.com/authorized/litigation/illumina-grail-deal-heads-ftc-trial-eu-weighs-penalty-2021-08-23 the FTC trial as a uncommon enforcement motion towards a “vertical” merger wherein two corporations usually are not direct rivals. The FTC’s witnesses are anticipated to incorporate representatives from different corporations competing with Grail.
“Proof will present that the warfare on most cancers, whether it is to be gained, can be gained by competitors, not by this acquisition,” Musser mentioned. Grail is in an “innovation race” to develop and market its early-detection check, she added, and Illumina would have the facility to “anoint” Grail the winner if the deal just isn’t canceled.
Illumina, based in 1998, owned Grail however spun it off in 2016 whereas retaining a 12% possession stake.
Illumina and Grail closed their merger final week, saying no authorized barrier blocked the deal. European antitrust regulators mentioned https://www.reuters.com/enterprise/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/illumina-eu-antitrust-sights-over-premature-8-bln-grail-deal-2021-08-20 on Friday they “deeply remorse” the closure previous to regulatory approval.
Illumina’s lawyer, David Marriott of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, mentioned in his opening assertion that the “reunion” of Illumina and Grail would speed up the event and adoption of an early cancer-detection product.
“The FTC’s concept asks the courtroom to forego the life-saving advantages of this transaction to keep away from the potential hurt that would not presumably happen for years – that would solely happen, we submit, if different exams really in truth in the end are developed,” Marriott mentioned. He mentioned the FTC concept “needlessly gambles with human lives.”
A lawyer for Grail mentioned at trial that the corporate’s merger with Illumina will present the quickest approach towards “widespread industrial acceptance” of its multi-cancer early detection check, which depends on a blood draw.
(Reporting by Mike Scarcella; Enhancing by Dan Grebler)