Illumina buying cancer-screening spinout Grail in blockbuster $8B biotech deal

Biotech has become one of the hottest areas of venture investment in recent years, as progress in machine learning, genetics, medical devices and biology fuse together into new products for the gargantuan health industry.

Case in point: Grail, which began in 2016 as a spinoff from genetic sequencing giant Illumina and co-founded by longtime Google executive Jeff Huber (who was involved in the creation of the company’s experimental laboratory Google[x]), is now being spun back in to the tune of an $8 billion acquisition announced this morning.

Illumina originally invested $100 million in the spinout, and Grail would go on to raise about $2 billion in funding from prominent biotech firm ARCH, one of China’s top VCs Hillhouse Capital, among many others according to Crunchbase. Illumina currently owns 14.5% of the company’s outstanding shares, making the effective purchase price for Grail closer to around $7 billion.

Grail’s technology was designed

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