Illumina Aims For All-Inclusive Cancer Screen Via New Start-Up
This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet
Genetic sequencing company Illumina is betting it can develop the first next-generation sequencing "pan-cancer" screening assay by building a separate company dedicated to the task. The new firm has $100 million in start-up funds and is called Grail.
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The biggest venture funding round in history, pan-cancer screening test developer Grail has reeled in $900m in the first close of what it hopes will be a $1bn Series B round.
2016 was the year to break the bull run in venture investment activity, with total deal value and volume failing to surpass that of 2015. However, the IVD sector continued to be the most popular area for investment, and technologies that can help unravel the genomic puzzle behind diseases like cancer were the ones that attracted the big bucks last year and look likely to remain so in 2017.
Device companies raised 50% more in Q1 2016 than the previous quarter, reaching $1.8 billion and led by debt offerings; diagnostic imaging acquisitions, such as Toshiba Medical Systems, were abundant. Diagnostics financings double in Q1, mostly from venture funding, including strong showing from liquid biopsy companies.