Guardant Health scores about $50 mln Series C

Redwood City, California-based Guardant Health, a cancer testing provider, has closed about $50 million in Series C funding. Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round with participation from Formation 8 and previous backers Khosla Ventures and Sequoia Capital.


REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Feb. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Guardant Health today announced the completion of its Series C financing for approximately $50 million, bringing the Company’s total funding to date to just under $100 million. The funding is led by Lightspeed Venture Partners with participation by Formation 8 and from existing investors Khosla Ventures and Sequoia Capital. The funding follows strong market demand for the company’s Guardant360 product, the first and only comprehensive biopsy-free cancer test that identifies critical tumor genomic alterations in real-time. The company plans to use the funds to expand the availability of Guardant360, and for continued investment in the acceleration of its product roadmap to more rapidly achieve the company’s vision of transforming cancer into a manageable disease.

“Guardant Health’s accelerated execution from technology breakthrough to commercialization and clinical impact is very impressive,” said Chris Schaepe of Lightspeed Venture Partners. “We are honored to partner with the leader in the liquid biopsy space and look forward to the continued rapid market adoption of biopsy-free testing.”

Guardant Health also today announced significant enhancements to its Guardant360 cancer blood test by increasing the number of clinically relevant genes and the types of alterations tested. The 68 gene panel now includes all NCCN recommended genomic biomarkers, including clinically relevant gene mutations, insertions/deletions, amplifications and fusions. Guardant Health’s proprietary single-molecule sensitive Digital Sequencing™ technology powers the blood test.

“The world of cancer analysis, monitoring, and treatment is rapidly evolving to one where physicians and late-stage cancer patients should expect real-time insights into how the disease is progressing,” said David Chen of Lightspeed Venture Partners. “We believe Guardant Health is uniquely positioned to advance cancer care through its leadership position in biopsy-free testing, and the genomic insights found will transform their vision into standard of care.”

Cancer is a result of abnormal gene function, and therefore difficult to treat because tumors mutate and change over time. Guardant360 provides the most comprehensive cancer view of tumor genomic alterations in real-time. In place of risky, invasive and expensive biopsies, Guardant360 enables physicians to clearly “see” genomic alterations of late stage patients across multiple active disease sites. This simple blood test aids in the selection of therapies tailored to the unique genetic make-up of the cancer.

“For many decades the medical industry has based treatment primarily on a single point in time: that of initial diagnosis and tissue biopsy. Now, Guardant360 enables doctors to track the genomic evolution of cancer so that it can be adaptively managed,” said Helmy Eltoukhy, Guardant Health CEO. “In our first 1000 commercial tests, we are finding cases of actionable alterations that may have been missed as a result of outdated or unobtainable biopsies. 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.”

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About Guardant Health Guardant Health is focused on developing breakthrough diagnostic technologies that can transform cancer from a silent killer into a manageable disease. Guardant Health was founded in 2012 by a team of serial entrepreneurs with expertise in next-generation sequencing, single-cell genomics and cancer diagnostics. The team is committed to positively and significantly impacting patient health through technology that addresses long-standing unmet needs in oncology.

About Lightspeed Venture Partners Lightspeed Venture Partners is a premier venture capital firm with $3 billion of committed capital under management and investment professionals and advisors in Silicon Valley, India, Israel and China with China Lightspeed China Partners. Over the past two decades, Lightspeed partners have backed more than 200 consumer and enterprise technology companies, many of which have become leaders in their respective markets, including AppDynamics, DataStax, FusionIO, GrubHub, The Honest Company, Nicira, Nimble Storage, Nutanix, Riverbed Technology and Snapchat.

About Khosla Ventures Khosla Ventures offers venture assistance, strategic advice and capital to entrepreneurs. The firm helps entrepreneurs extend the potential of their ideas in breakthrough scientific work in clean technology areas such as bio-refineries for energy and bioplastics, solar, battery and other environmentally friendly technologies as well as traditional venture areas like the Internet, computing, mobile and silicon technology arenas. Vinod Khosla founded the firm in 2004 and was formerly a General Partner at Kleiner Perkins and founder of Sun Microsystems. Khosla Ventures is based in Menlo Park, California.

About Sequoia Capital Sequoia Capital helps founders turn imaginative ideas into enduring companies. As the “Entrepreneurs Behind the Entrepreneurs,” the Sequoia team has worked closely with legendary founders such as Steve Jobs of Apple, Larry Ellison of Oracle, Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner of Cisco, David Filo and Jerry Yang of Yahoo!, Max Levchin, Elon Musk and Peter Thiel of PayPal, Sergey Brian and Larry Page of Google, Steve Chen and Chad Hurley of YouTube, and Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn. Sequoia is now helping the next generation of innovators build the lasting companies of tomorrow.

About Formation 8 Formation 8 is a venture capital firm that provides financial and strategic capital to early growth smart enterprise and energy technology companies. They support entrepreneurs who seek to transform the most important global industries by solving hard problems with technology solutions. Partnership is in their DNA. Formation 8 value trusted relationships with entrepreneurs, investors, and strategic partners through their global network.