Grail Encouraged By New Circulating Cell-free Genome Atlas Data

At the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting on June 4, 2018, GRAIL announced the clinical results from a 127-patient sub-study of its Circulating Cell-free Genome Atlas (CCGA) trial. The analysis revealed that the company’s genome-sequencing blood tests can detect lung cancer with 98% specificity and up to 92% sensitivity.

At that 98% specificity, the sensitivity of the tests ranged from 38% to 51% in participants with early-stage lung cancer, and from 87% to 89% in patients with later-stage cancer.

“[The initial data from CCGA is exciting because it suggests] it is possible to detect lung cancer through DNA signals in the blood at earlier stages when survival rates may be higher,” said Geoffrey Oxnard of Harvard Medical School, who presented the results at the conference.

GRAIL Vice President of Clinical Development Anne-Renee Hartman said, “We are encouraged by these initial results and believe a highly specific blood test for lung cancer could help improve early detection rates for this deadly disease. Lung cancer will be an important focus in our ongoing clinical development program for the early detection of multiple cancer types.”

Silicon Valley-based GRAIL announced on May 21, 2018, that it had completed a $300 million Series C fundraising round, which was led by Ally Bridge Group. A number of other venture capital firms also participated. The company has raised more than $1.5 billion since 2016 in three rounds of equity financing.

GRAIL is particularly focused on the Asian market and plans to launch a test for early detection of nasopharyngeal cancer in Hong Kong later in 2018. Last year, GRAIL merged with Hong Kong-based Cirina Inc., another company working toward early cancer detection using blood-based biomarkers. The merger was designed to expand GRAIL’s reach in Asia and tap into Cirina’s expertise in molecular cancer diagnostics.

Read the full article in Medtech Insight.