Guardant Grabs $50M to Expand Cancer Blood Test

Xconomy San Francisco — 

Guardant Health has received a $50 million Series C funding round to make its blood test for cancer more readily available.

The test, called Guardant360, analyzes the genetic traits of tumor cell DNA, which can help physicians predict what therapies might be most effective at treating a patient. As Xconomy’s Bernadette Tansey wrote after she spoke with CEO Helmy Eltoukhy last year, the Redwood City, CA, company hopes it can improve the treatment of tumors, while also helping patients avoid expensive and potentially risky biopsies.

Guardant, which has raised $100 million in venture capital to date, has increased the number of clinically relevant genes in its blood test to a 68-gene panel, as well as the types of alterations tested, the company said in a statement. The $50 million led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, as well as Formation 8 and existing investors Khosla Ventures and Sequoia Capital, will help Guardant further “accelerate its product roadmap.”

Other companies are similarly targeting biopsies. Exosome Diagnostics, based in Cambridge, MA, raised $25 million to launch its first two products, which Ben Fidler detailed last week. Those are a blood-based test for lung cancer, and a urine test for prostate cancer.

“Guardant360 enables doctors to track the genomic evolution of cancer so that it can be adaptively managed,” Eltoukhy, Guardant’s CEO, said in the statement. “With this new funding, we can scale our operations to meet the significant demand for our biopsy-free blood test and help physicians identify effective treatments for their patients.”