Guardant Health $360M Round
May 12, 2017
Health has made an ambitious goal to sequence the tumor DNA of more than
1 million cancer patients within five years. Guardant Health expects the
data from the Guardant 1 Million effort to fuel fundamental advancements
across the continuum of cancer care, and accelerate the development of
blood-based tests for early cancer detection.
"We believe that conquering cancer is at its core a big-data problem,
and researchers have been data starved," said Helmy Eltoukhy, Guardant
Health Co-Founder and CEO. "Our launch of the world's first commercial
comprehensive liquid biopsy sparked a boom in cancer data acquisition.
Every physician who orders one of our tests and every patient whose
tumor DNA we sequence add to this larger mission by improving our
understanding of this complex disease. With this ambitious five-year
effort, we intend to accelerate this progress and provide a much-needed
infusion of data into the field."
Guardant Health has secured $360 million in new funding that will help
it reach its goal of sequencing 1 million cancer patients faster than
any previous initiative or clinical trial. A SoftBank Group subsidiary
is the lead investor, with participation from certain funds and accounts
managed by T. Rowe Price, Associates, Inc., Temasek, and others
including existing investors Sequoia Capital, Khosla Ventures,
Lightspeed Venture Partners, OrbiMed, and 8VC. With this funding,
Guardant Heath has raised more than $500 million.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally. By 2030,
researchers expect 21 million new cases per year. Early detection of
cancer can dramatically improve patient outcomes by catching the disease
before it has spread, but many current cancer screening methods risk
false positives and overdiagnosis.
Guardant Health's vision has always been to develop products for early
cancer detection. The company first created Guardant360, a test that
helps patients with advanced cancer, to address an urgent unmet medical
need and also because the technical expertise and data acquired by
testing more developed tumors are critical for work with early
detection. Oncologists have ordered Guardant360 more than 35,000 times,
making it the most widely used comprehensive liquid biopsy.
Guardant Health and SoftBank also announced the formation of a new joint
venture to expand commercialization of Guardant Health's
industry-leading liquid biopsy technology in Asia, the Middle East, and
Africa, regions where more than 7.8 million new cases of cancer are
diagnosed each year.
Son, SoftBank Group Chairman and CEO, said, "Guardant Health is applying
the breakthrough technologies of machine learning and genomics to cancer
– one of the world's biggest challenges. Guardant's approach is built on
smart science and a smart business model, in which its capabilities grow
each time a doctor uses its services. Our investment will enable
Guardant, already the clear leader in an exciting field, to become the
Rosetta Stone for cancer, across all stages."
This financing will support work to expand Project LUNAR, Guardant
Health's early cancer detection efforts announced in 2016. The initial
LUNAR products will look for evidence of residual disease in patients
who have undergone surgery, radiation, or other treatments intended to
cure them of cancer. Then, Guardant Health expects to introduce tests to
identify early signs of cancer in high-risk patients who have not yet
"We believe our rapid, iterative approach will generate the data
necessary to develop non-invasive tests that are both sensitive enough
to detect cancer early in high-risk populations, and specific enough to
avoid inflicting unnecessary anxiety and harm through overdiagnosis,"
said AmirAli Talasaz, Guardant Health Co-Founder and President.