Illumina, the €22Bn Market cap NGS specialist, and Bill Gates pooled a $100M to fund the startup, ‘Grail’, which will be used to find a universal cancer detection test for Doctors.
The startup will be based in San Francisco (US) with additional financial backing to include Bill Gates amongst others. The tests in question are based on the super-sensitive sequencing technology that Illumina had developed for blood tests, able to detect micro-traces of DNA.
The idea for such ‘Liquid Biopsies’ however is not exclusive to Illumina’s network, as another Biotech, Guardant Health, was the first liquid biopsy to be offered to doctors in the United States. The technique was originally discovered and refined at John Hopkins University, the full story of which you can read in MIT’s Technology Review.