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Illumina Wins Quick Review of FTC Order to Unwind Grail Acquisition

A U.S. appeals court said this week that it will accelerate its review of Illumina‘s challenge to a federal agency order requiring the San Diego-based biotech to divest cancer diagnostic test maker Grail.

Reuters reported that the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday (April 18) issued its ruling over the objection of the Federal Trade Commission, which argued that Illumina had not shown why the appeals court needed to speed up its consideration of the antitrust dispute.

Illumina is appealing an April 3 FTC order that said the company’s $7.1 billion acquisition of Grail will curb competition in the cancer-testing market.

The accelerated pace of the litigation could impose a burden on the FTC. The agency argued to the 5th Circuit that an expedited schedule would be “highly prejudicial” to it based on what it called the “number and complexity” of the issues Illumina intends to raise.

In a court filing, attorneys for Illumina argued expedited review will “enable the possibility of earlier access to a life-saving screening test and eliminate unnecessary roadblocks in the fight against cancer.”

The FTC in 2021 sued Illumina over its bid for Grail, a former subsidiary of the company. Illumina completed the deal that year amid the FTC challenge and another from European Union regulators, who have also moved to unwind Illumina’s acquisition on antitrust concerns.

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