Illumina to pay $8 bln for Jeff Bezos-backed cancer testing firm Grail


Changes sourcing, adds deal details

Sept 21 (Reuters) - Gene sequencing company Illumina Inc ILMN.O will pay $8 billion in cash and stock to buy cancer screening startup Grail Inc, the companies said on Monday.

Grail, which is developing a blood test to identify early-stage cancers, was founded by Illumina as a separate company in 2016 and is backed by Inc AMZN.O founder Jeff Bezos and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates.

The deal would give Illumina access to Grail's test for early detection of cancer from blood called Galleri, which is expected to launch commercially in 2021.

Grail plans to follow Galleri with future blood-based tests for cancer diagnosis, detection and post-treatment monitoring of cancer patients, the companies said.

Earlier this month Grail, in which Illumina is the biggest shareholder with a near 14.5% stake, filed for a U.S. initial public offering, without disclosing the offering size.

Under the terms of the agreement, Grail stockholders, including Illumina, will receive $3.5 billion in cash and $4.5 billion in shares of Illumina common stock.

Grail stockholders will also receive future payments representing a tiered single-digit percentage of certain Grail-related revenue.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the deal on Monday, citing sources.

(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Maju Samuel)

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