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SAN DIEGO — Sequencing behemoth Illumina on Thursday won its case against the Federal Trade Commission in its bid to hold onto Grail, a Bay Area early cancer detection company that the genomics giant acquired for $8 billion last year.

An administrative law judge rejected the FTC’s argument that the San Diego company’s acquisition of Grail would quash competition in the nascent market for multi-cancer early detection, a technology that picks up on a wide range of cancer types by detecting DNA sequence changes, chemical modifications, or other changes through a simple blood draw. It’s a field that analysts estimate could one day grow into a $50 billion market.


“Reuniting Illumina and GRAIL will transform the detection and treatment of cancer by facilitating widespread, affordable access to GRAIL’s life-saving Galleri test,” said CEO Francis deSouza in a press release. “This decision is a step toward making that vision a reality.”

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