FTC bars Illumina from acquiring DNA sequencing rival PacBio
Category: #health  By Pankaj Singh  Date: 2019-12-19
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FTC bars Illumina from acquiring DNA sequencing rival PacBio

The Federal Trade Commission, commonly abbreviated as FTC has blocked the acquisition of Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) by its established rival Illumina. Illumina is a leading biotechnology company specializing in manufacture of integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and biological function, while Pacific Biosciences is an American biotechnology company, that has recently emerged as a competitor to the former.

The proposal price for the potential takeover was USD 1.2 billion. The FTC has intervened in the matter claiming that the DNA sequencing giant would be substantially harming competition by this takeover.

The FTC has also given its staff clearance to seek federal injunctions or temporary restraining orders to maintain the current business while its complaint is heard by an administrative law judge in a formal hearing.

Gail Levine, deputy director, Bureau of Competition, FTC, was reportedly quoted saying that competition is harmed in the event of  a monopolist taking over a potential rival. Such deals aid monopolists in maintaining power, which has prompted them to challenge this acquisition.

Illumina decided to pay a 71% premium over Pacific Bioscience’s share price in 2018, which was an offer to assimilate the firm’s long-read sequencing technology. This would have aided Illumina in identifying larger, structural variants in the genome, which cause certain rare diseases.

According to the FTC, Pacific Biosciences has put in efforts to increase the accuracy as well as throughput of its next-gen sequencing systems. The company has also lowered its costs, putting it in a place to chip away the massive global market share of Illumina by almost 80%.

FTC affirmed that the acquisition is likely to reduce the combined incentives of both the companies to create new products—if it were to offer both long or short-read products, as the rivalry between Illumina and PacBio drives both the company to innovate.

However, Illumina disagrees with FTC’s decision and is undergoing regulatory approval process.
 

Source Credit: https://www.fiercebiotech.com/medtech/ftc-blocks-illumina-s-1-2b-offer-for-dna-sequencing-rival-pacbio

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Pankaj Singh    

Pankaj Singh

With an experience as an insurance underwriter and a freelance writer under his belt, Pankaj Singh boasts of quite some expertise in the field of content creation. A qualified Post Graduate in Management, Pankaj has also completed a detailed course in Digital Marketin...

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