FILE PHOTO: A new office building housing genetic research company Illumina is shown in San Diego, California, U.S., May 30, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Illumina in talks to buy cancer testing startup Grail: Bloomberg News

Deals

Reuters Staff

(Reuters) - Gene sequencing company Illumina Inc ILMN.O is in late talks to buy cancer testing startup Grail Inc, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Grail could fetch more than the $6 billion valuation that it had reached from previous fundraisings, the report here said, adding the companies could announce a deal as soon as this week.

Both Illumina and Grail did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Grail, which is developing a blood test to identify early-stage cancers, was founded by Illumina as a separate company in 2016 and is backed by Amazon.com Inc's AMZN.O founder Jeff Bezos and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates.

Illumina is the single largest shareholder in Grail with a 14.6% stake, according to the company’s filing for a U.S. listing last week.

In January, Illumina ended its $1.2 billion deal to buy smaller rival Pacific Biosciences of California Inc PACB.O , after the U.S. competition watchdog filed a complaint to block the purchase.

Shares of Illumina were down 4.8% at $334.9 in morning trading.