The Illumina-Grail deal is gaining help from Republican lawmakers and state governments

Rafael Henrique | flare | Getty Images

Republican lawmakers, attorneys general, and several advocacy groups have expressed support illuminas Acquisition of cancer test developer Grail as Federal Trade Commission fights to break deal.

The groups filed 14 amicus briefs Monday asking the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn an FTC order that would cause Illumina to suspend the $7.1 billion Grail deal over concerns , that he suppressed competition. Last week, the San Diego-based DNA sequencing company appealed the agency’s decision.

Proponents of the deal argued in the court filings that the FTC exceeded its powers in trying to sever the liaison, which was made nearly two years ago. They added that blocking the companies’ merger could hamper the development of life-saving technologies.

“Irreponsible federal powers undermine liberty, and overzealous, unfair government enforcement impedes technological advances that benefit the well-being of citizens,” attorneys general from 12 states said in one of the briefs.

These states are Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia.

34 Republican lawmakers praised Grail’s early detection test, which can detect more than 50 types of cancer in a single blood draw. The test isn’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but has seen limited sales over the past year.

Grail requires Illumina to obtain regulatory approval and commercialize production of the test. These are “necessary steps to provide the public with the full benefits of these tests and to detect cancer as quickly as possible,” lawmakers argued.

The FTC declined to comment on the filing.

The deal met with widespread opposition. Last year, the European Union’s executive body, the European Commission, blocked the acquisition citing similar competition concerns. Illumina has appealed this order.

And activist investor Carl Icahn, who owns a 1.4% stake in Illumina, began a proxy battle with the company over the Grail deal.

Illumina shareholders voted to remove the CEO late last month. The company’s CEO, Francis deSouza, resigned from Icahn on Sunday after weeks of intense backlash.

Icahn’s opposition stemmed from Illumina’s decision to complete the acquisition without first obtaining approval from antitrust authorities.

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