Illumina and the Unholy Grail of Antitrust

Antitrust regulations are being derailed in Europe and the United States, and their citizens could become collateral damage. The latest example is the European Commission’s order on Tuesday to derail the genetic sequencing giant Illuminatedthe acquisition by Grail of the start-up specializing in blood tests against cancer.

Grail has developed a lab test that can identify more than 50 early-stage cancers with a simple blood test. Screenings don’t exist for most cancers, so many go undetected until they have spread and are harder to treat. Although the Grail test cannot detect all cancers, it can detect the 12 deadliest with an accuracy of about 76% and its false positives are less than 1%. The tests could save tens of thousands of lives a year if widely adopted.


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