One year after launching with a $125 million initial investment, biotech startup GRAIL has announced plans to raise more than $1 billion—with TechCrunch reporting the sum could reach $1.8 billion—to continue development of a blood test for the early detection of cancer cells. Once the Series B financing is complete, the funds will be used to start a large-scale clinical trial and develop cancer-screening products, which are based on genetic sequencing technology originally created by Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN)—the company GRAIL spun out from last January.
The Bay Area biotech said it’s received interest from "undisclosed private and strategic investors" for the upcoming funding, but didn’t name names. The company’s first financing, which valued GRAIL at $469 million, included participation from ARCH Venture Partners, Sutter Hill Ventures, GV, Bezos Expeditions and Bill Gates. Goldman Sachs is acting as the company's placement agent for the new round, which is expected to close by the end of the quarter.