Activist investor Carl Icahn has set his sights on DNA sequencing firm Illumina, which has been ordered by regulators in the U.S. and Europe to divest Grail, a maker of cancer-detecting blood tests. Because Grail’s tests run on Illumina’s devices, regulators say the ties between the two would hamper innovation and competition in multi-cancer early detection tests.
Icahn has roundly criticized Illumina CEO Francis deSouza for pursuing the Grail acquisition despite regulatory opposition, and says deSouza has cost shareholders as much as $50 billion, as Illumina’s share price tumbled. Icahn and the company’s board are gearing up for a proxy battle at the firm’s annual meeting later this year, when Icahn wants to appoint three new directors and force the sale of Grail.
MedTech Dive is rounding up our coverage of the Illumina fight.