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Guardant Health Raises $360M

The story has been corrected to reflect the correct amount of Guardant Health's financing round in January 2016.

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Guardant Health today announced it has raised $360 million to finance a new goal to sequence the tumor DNA of more than 1 million cancer patients within five years.

Data from the effort is expected to advance developments in cancer care and accelerate the development of blood-based tests to detect cancer, the firm said. In a statement, Guardant Cofounder and CEO Helmy Eltoukhy said that curing cancer is a big-data problem, "and researchers have been data starved."

The new five-year effort will accelerate Guardant's efforts to acquire cancer data and improve knowledge about the disease by providing "a much-needed infusion of data into the field," he added.

The new funding brings the total funding the firm has raised to more than $500 million. Guardant raised about $100 million in January 2016.  

A SoftBank Group subsidiary is the lead investor in the new financing, Guardant said. Certain funds and accounts managed by T. Rowe Price, Temasek, and others also participated. Existing investors Sequoia Capital, Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, OrbiMed, and 8VC also were participants.

The new funding will also support work to expand Guardant's Project Lunar early cancer detection efforts that were announced last year. Project Lunar products will look for evidence of residual disease in patients who have undergone treatments, such as surgery and radiology. The company also plans on launching tests that can identify early signs of cancer in high-risk patients who have not yet been diagnosed, it said.

In Feburary, Guardant and MD Anderson partnered in an effort aimed at making liquid biopsy a standard of care.

Guardant and SoftBank also have formed a new joint venture to expand commercialization of Guardant's liquid biopsy technology in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Nearly 8 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed in those regions annually, Guardant said.