Illumina campus in San Diego
A sign on Illumina’s campus in San Diego. Reuters/Mike Blake

San Diego-based DNA sequencing company Illumina on Tuesday challenged an EU antitrust order to keep cancer screening firm Grail separate, ratcheting up its fight against EU regulators which blocked a merger deal last year.

Following its veto, the European Union competition enforcer renewed an interim measure last October requiring Illumina to keep Grail as a separate entity so the company can unwind a takeover it had completed without waiting for the deal to get EU approval.

“Today, we appealed the European Commission’s interim measures order to hold separate Illumina and Grail,” Illumina said in a statement.

“We disagree that the Commission has jurisdiction to review the merger, and with the premise of the interim measures itself and with a number of its provisions, the Commission has exceeded its authority,” it said.

The EU executive said in emailed comment it would defend its case in court.

Illumina has three appeals pending in the Luxembourg courts, Europe’s top courts, against the EU enforcer’s ruling that it jumped the gun by closing the deal without securing approval, the EU’s subsequent veto and the EU decision to examine the case.


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Ellen Bullock