Illumina spin-out Grail plans to invest over $1 billion in early-stage cancer detection using liquid biopsy approaches. The unprecedented private equity investment, which is due to close in the current quarter, will enable Grail to pursue its lofty aims of revolutionizing cancer diagnostics and ultimately transforming patient outcomes. Recruitment has already begun for a pilot trial called the Circulating Cell-Free Genome Atlas (CCGA) study, which will compare the cell-free nucleic acid profiles of 7,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients with those of 3,000 healthy volunteers, to build a genomic picture of early-stage cancer. This is a prelude to a series of much larger studies that will recruit hundreds of thousands of participants, who will be followed longitudinally in an effort to pinpoint the onset of cancer much earlier than is the case today.
Nature Biotechnology 35, 101–102 (2017)
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