Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN) is making a big bet on the oncology market. The California-based company is acquiring GRAIL for $8 billion, consisting of $3.5 billion in cash and $4.5 billion in shares of Illumina common stock.
GRAIL was founded by Illumina in 2016 and was spun out as a standalone company raising $2 billion. The company uses Illumina’s NGS technology to develop data science and machine learning and create the atlas of cancer signals in the blood, enabling multi-cancer early detection tests.
Illumina had already owned 14.5% of GRAIL before the deal, and Illumina stockholders are expected to own approximately 93% of the combined company, while GRAIL stockholders are expected to own approximately 7%. The deal 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.
It seems oncology is the hot trend in the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical sectors for the month, accounting for some of the largest deals of the month, according to search results in Deal Search Online. Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) purchased Immunomedics, a leader in next-generation antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology focused on researching therapeutics for hard-to-treat cancers, for $21 billion earlier in the month. Permira, a private equity firm based in the U.K. invested $1.8 billion into Germany-based Neuraxpharm Arzneimittel GmbH for $1.8 billion. Additionally, Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) and Seattle Genetics (NASDAQ: SGEN) struck two collaboration agreements focused on oncology therapies, valued at a total of $725 million.