Guardant Health, based in Redwood, California, has secured $360 million in investor financing, making it the newest horse in the race to use liquid biopsy technology to significantly advance cancer testing and treatment.
Guardant will use this round of financing to expand its work both nationally and internationally, particularly with regard to early cancer detection. Guardant’s Project LUNAR, launched in 2016, will no doubt be the backbone of the company’s ambitious new plan to sequence tumor DNA in one million cancer patients over the next five years. Guardant has already been building out Guardant360, an existing cancer diagnostic test that has been used more than 35,000 times so far.
Guardant is hardly the only startup making huge strides in the cancer detection industry lately, however. Illumina spin-out GRAIL recently announced a new high-intensity sequencing tool designed to detect cancer in the blood. GRAIL also just launched its STRIVE initiative, a plan to study 120,000 breast cancer sufferers in an effort to gather data that can be used for future preventative and treatment measures.
Freenome, also based in California, is taking a slightly different route to cancer detection, focusing on software and machine learning. The team hopes to isolate a range of biological indicators in the blood.
Still other companies like Epic Sciences and Foundation Medicine are putting their eggs in the treatment basket, looking at how to determine which treatments work best for which kind of cancer patients.
These are just a few of the newest voices in cancer detection and treatment. It is an industry that is now, more than ever, looking to advance technology and build on the energy of up-and-coming startup companies to face down one of the toughest diseases out there.
Read the full Med City News coverage on these advances here.