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Illumina Acquires GRAIL to Accelerate Patient Access to Life-Saving Multi-Cancer Early-Detection Test

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 20 Aug 2021
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Image: Illumina headquarters in San Diego, California (Photo courtesy of Illumina)
Image: Illumina headquarters in San Diego, California (Photo courtesy of Illumina)
Illumina, Inc. (San Diego, CA, USA) has acquired GRAIL (Menlo Park, CA, USA), a healthcare company focused on life-saving early detection of multiple cancers.

Illumina's acquisition of GRAIL will accelerate access and adoption of this life-saving test worldwide. Illumina had first announced its intention to acquire GRAIL nearly a year ago, reuniting Illumina with GRAIL four years after it was spun off. GRAIL's Galleri blood test detects 50 different cancers before they are symptomatic. Illumina's acquisition of GRAIL is driven by the belief that this test should be available to as many people as possible as quickly as possible. From fighting the COVID-19 pandemic to matching cancer patients to therapies, Illumina's mandate is to save lives and transform healthcare. The first COVID-19 viral sequence was on an Illumina machine and now genomic surveillance has emerged as a critical tool in the global fight against the pandemic, with over 70 countries now using Illumina platforms for COVID-19 variant tracking.

"Just as we are now able to screen for early-stage diabetes and high cholesterol, we will soon be able to conduct multi-cancer early detection with a simple blood test in your doctor's office," said Francis deSouza, Chief Executive Officer of Illumina. "Since early detection of cancer saves lives, this new genomic test will be nothing short of transformational for human health and the economics of healthcare."

"The merger with Illumina will get the Galleri test to people far faster. We aim to accelerate this process so the test will be available in doctors' offices everywhere, fully reimbursed," said Hans Bishop, Chief Executive Officer of GRAIL. "A one-year acceleration of access to the Galleri test for the US population has the potential to save 10,000 lives over a nine-year period."

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