Thaysen will need to decide how to proceed with Grail, a company Illumina acquired in 2021 that sells a blood test to identify dozens of types of cancer at earlier stages than typically diagnosed. Antitrust regulators in the US and Europe are trying to unwind the deal, which Illumina has vowed to defend despite steep costs, including a nearly $500 million fine in Europe.
Meanwhile, Illumina’s DNA-sequencing business faces more competition than ever. The company started shipping its latest machine earlier this year to help maintain its hold on the market. That investment has in part crimped profitability, something Illumina pledged to fix during its proxy fight with Icahn.
Grail is turning into a poisoned chalice for Illumina. The decision to ignore the EU’s antitrust concerns not only means Illumina is accepting a fine and foregoing access to the market, but it sullies the company’s reputation with regulators.
Illumina is a highly cyclical company. Every time they have released a new machine in the past, sales have boomed and the share took a leap higher. It has then tended to range in a volatile manner until their next new machine is released. Illumina’s machines have been instrumental in compressing the cost of genetic sequencing from thousands to hundreds of dollars.Click HERE to subscribe to Fuller Treacy Money Back to top