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Grail Raises $900M in Series B Round

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Grail has raised $900 million out of a planned $1 billion, in the first close a Series B financing round that was led by Arch Venture Partners and included Johnson and Johnson Innovation as well as Amazon, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, McKesson Ventures, Merck, Tencent Holdings, and Varian Medical Systems. 

Grail plans to use the financing to support ongoing efforts in product development and the validation of its tests for early-stage cancer detection, including its Circulating Cell-free Genome Atlas study and other large-scale clinical trials.

The firm said that some of the proceeds were also used to repurchase part of Illumina's stake in the company. Illumina now owns "slightly less than 20 percent" of Grail.

The company announced its intention in January to raise $1 billion in the Series B round before the end of the first quarter.

Grail CEO Jeff Huber said in a statement that Grail "made tremendous progress in 2016" toward its goal of developing a noninvasive test for early cancer detection. It will continue to leverage "high-intensity sequencing, population-scale clinical studies, and state-of-the-art computer science and data science," he said.