Guardant health Raises $100M extra For Its Radical approach to most cancers therapy

Biopsies are expensive, unsafe, and invasive. This startup is out to change that.

January 7, 2016 

A startup known as Guardant well being simply raised virtually $100 million for its formidable new strategy to most cancers remedy.

The funding comes from health investors OrbiMed Advisors, along with a slew of Silicon Valley challenge capital companies together with Lightspeed venture partners, Khosla Ventures, and Sequoia Capital. This newest financing spherical brings the company’s whole capital to just shy of $200 million.

Guardant plans to use the funding to invest in the development of its tumor-sequencing take a look at, referred to as Guardant360, which takes a radically new way by means of the use of blood—reasonably than biopsies—to analyze the genomics of a cancer.

Biopsies are notoriously expensive, hazardous, and invasive. Many cancer patients handiest obtain one or two all through the path of their therapy, normally best when it’s medically important. That makes it difficult for oncologists to understand how an individual patient’s most cancers is progressing, and deal with it hence.

“for folks with evolved cancers, warding off an needless and painful surgical procedure is something to have fun,” Guardant health CEO Helmy Eltoukhy told fast company.

Guardant’s method builds on a few a long time of biomedical research. Scientists have identified since the Nineteen Nineties that a most cancers affected person’s blood consists of genetic fragments from loss of life cells of tumors. but the challenge has been to separate the fragments of the tumor, which might be in very low concentrations (around one part in 200).

In contemporary years, research labs and corporations have taken nice strides in creating know-how that can take a excessive-resolution snapshot of these tumor fragments. Guardant is one of the first to bring its expertise, otherwise known as a “liquid biopsy,” to hospitals. the corporate says Guardant360 is presently being utilized by 20,000 sufferers with most cancers per 12 months.

however health experts stress that liquid biopsies are nonetheless in their early days.

“It remains to be viewed whether or not the genome alternations discovered within the blood mirror those within the tumor biopsy,” says Jonathan Hirsch, the founding father of a most cancers genomics firm called Syapse. “The blood test would possibly choose up issues that are not within the biopsy, and can disclose new remedy choices.”

more to come

Guardant could also be an early mover, but it surely nonetheless faces competitors from based players. These possible rivals may even be looking for methods to convey down the price of the take a look at to make sure that the well being machine can have enough money for cancer patients to get screened regularly. Guardant’s take a look at is at present available for $5,four hundred a pop.

To get an part on its competitors, the company is partnering with some amazing research establishments and corporations, including ny-primarily based startup Flatiron health, which analyzes information on cancer therapies and sells device in line with those insights.

Scientists stay positive that liquid biopsies will thrive in the coming years. “This know-how goes to get in reality excellent,” mentioned Hirsch. “it can be best a subject of time ahead of this trying out becomes activities.”

[Photo: KEVIN CURTIS/Getty Images]

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