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Grail

Grail

Grail is a biotechnology company headquartered in Menlo Park, California that was founded by Jeffrey Huber, Sjuul van den Eertweg in 2016 focused on making a medical device that can detect early stage cancer.

Grail is a biotechnology company founded in 2016 by Jeffrey Huber, Sjuul van den Eertwegh, and is headquartered in Menlo Park, California. Grail is developing a blood test capable of detecting early stage cancer. The company is trying to develop intelligent models capable of producing clinically relevant information for early-stage cancer detection through obtaining large amounts of tumor genome data through high-intensity sequencing and analyzing that data after combining it with results from population-scale clinical trials.

Clinical trials

Circulating Cell-free Genome Atlas Study

The Circulating Cell-free genome Atlas Study is designed to help characterize the genomic cancer signals in blood through analyzing cell-free nucleic acid (cfNA) profiles of people living with and without cancer. The study analyzed the results of approximately 15,000 people living in the United States and Canada in 142 locations. All patients enrolled in the study are required to follow up after 5 years to collect their clinical trial data. Grail does not have the final results of the study (as of August 2019) because their study is still in the follow-up phase. 

STRIVE Study

The STRIVE Study enrolled about 100,000 women at the time of their screening mammogram for a prospective, observational, longitudinal, cohort study. During their mammogram the women were asked to fill out a health questionnaire, provide a blood sample, and were told they would be followed up with after five years to obtain their clinical outcome data; which includes cancer diagnosis. The information obtained from the STRIVE Study will be used to validate a blood test for the early detection of several cancer types. The STRIVE Study is currently in the follow-up phase (as of August 2019). 

SUMMIT Study

The SUMMIT Study seeks to obtain clinical information regarding people at risk of smoking related cancers to help evaluate and improve their cancer detecting blood test. Approximately 50,000 men and women between the ages of 55 and 75 who did not have any types of cancer at the time of enrolment, and approximately half of the study participants were at high risk for lung and other forms of cancer due to their smoking histories. Participants in the SUMMIT study are required to have an annual check-up following their initial enrolment and will be followed up with after 5 years by using their national health registries and medical records. The SUMMIT Study is still enrolling participants (as of August 2019). 

Acquisitions/mergers

Cirna merger

On May 31, 2017 Grail merged with a Chinese startup called Cirna to help expand its global production capacity. Cirina, which was founded by Dennis Lo of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and raised $12 million in a Series A financing round in 2014, will operate as a subsidiary of Grail.

Funding

Series A

On January 12, 2016 Grail closed their series A funding round with $100 million in funding from Illumina, Stutter Hill Ventures, Biomatics Capital Partners, Bezos Expeditions, ARCH Venture Partners, and Bill Gates. 

Series B

On November 22, 2017 Grail closed their series B funding round with $1.2 billion in funding from ARCH Venture Partners, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, Dentsu Ventures and Glen Kacher. 

Series C

On May 21, 2018 Grail closed their series C funding round with $300 million in funding from WuXi NextCode, Sequoia Capital China, IBC International, HuangPu River Capital, Hillhouse Capital Group, China Merchants Securities, Blue Pool Capital, Ally Bridge Group, and 6 Dimensions Capital. 

Timeline

May 2019

Thrive Earlier Detection, which raised over $100 million in May, is another company taking the approach of looking at multiple cancer screens.

May 21, 2018

Series C

$300m -- Total nine investors. 6 Dimensions Capital, Ally Bridge Group, and Hillhouse Capital Group led the round.

November 22, 2017

Series B

$1.2b -- Total three investors. ARCH Venture Partners led the round.

January 12, 2016

Series A

$100m -- Total of six investors. Illumina was the lead investor.

Funding rounds

2 Results
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People

Name
Role
LinkedIn

Akash Patel

Employee



Alex Aravanis

Chief Scientific Officer and Head of R&D



Angela Lai

CTO



Anne-Renee Hartman

Vice President of Clinical Development



Bill Rastetter

Board of Directors



Catherine Friedman

Board of Directors



Charlotte Arnold

Vice President of Corporate Affairs



Fred Kohler

Vice President of People



George Golumbeski

President & Head of Corporate Development and Strategy



Glen Kacher

Investor



Hal Barron

Board of Directors



Hans Bishop

CEO



Jeff Huber

Founder



Jessica Owens

Vice President of Strategy



Joshua Ofman

Chief of Corporate Strategy and External Affairs



Karel Hurka, Jr.

Employee



Kaye Foster

Board of Directors



Maykin Ho

Board of Directors



Min Cui

Board of Directors



Minyong Chung

Employee



Paige Zeigler

Employee



Patrick Broderick

General Counsel and Corporate Secretary



Richard Klausner

Board of Directors



Robert Nelsen

Board of Directors



Tara Maddala

Vice President of Biostatistics & Data Management



Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Biotech firm Grail conducting large study for early breast cancer detection

Catherine Ho

Web

January 6, 2019

Forget Hong Kong, Grail is now going for a 2019 IPO in the US -- Bloomberg

Amber Tong

Web

December 5, 2018

GRAIL Announces Positive New Data with Multi-Cancer Early Detection Blood Test from CCGA Study

Grail Press Release

News

May 31, 2019

The $1 billion bet on the perfect cancer test

Antonio Regalado

News



What You Need to Know About GRAIL | BioSpace

Mark Terry

Web



Documentaries, videos and podcasts

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Companies

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References