The European Commission has prohibited the implemented acquisition of GRAIL by Illumina under the European Union Merger Regulation. The merger will reduce choice, and stifle innovation in the emerging market for early cancer detection tests. Illumina does not offer sufficient remedies to address these concerns.
Margrethe Vestager, executive vice-president of the European Commission, said that they have prohibited the implemented acquisition of Illumina by GRAIL. She said, in a race with several other companies, GRAIL is developing a blood-based early cancer detection test.
She added that if successful, these tests will revolutionise their fight against cancer, and will help to save millions of lives. Illumina is currently the only supplier of a technology that enables to develop and process these tests.
According to Margrethe Vestager, it is important to preserve competition between early cancer detection tests at this critical stage of development. As Illumina has not put forward the remedies that would have solved their concerns, the European Commission has prohibited the merger.
This decision of the European Commission follows an in-depth investigation by the commission into the merger. With GRAIL, Illumina is using NGS systems to develop cancer detection tests.