Grail's 4th funding round nets $390M for its cancer-seeking blood test

Grail has secured its fourth nine-digit-plus financing round, bringing its total funding to nearly $2 billion as it looks to complete the clinical testing of its cancer-seeking blood test. 

The latest series D financing brought in $390 million, with new investments from two large Canadian national pension boards plus two undisclosed investors. The company’s previous backers, including Illumina, also joined the round.

The funding comes shortly after Grail demonstrated that its test could spot more than 50 different types of cancers from a single blood draw. In late March, data from the company’s 15,000-participant Circulating Cell-free Genome Atlas study showed its diagnostic could specify the organ where cancer was growing with 93% accuracy, with a false-positive rate of less than 1%.

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A few weeks later, during the virtual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, a new sub-analysis evaluated how the test fit into everyday clinical practice and found it could help speed up the assessment of undiagnosed patients with symptoms suspected to be linked to cancer.

“Grail is making significant progress with our blood-based, multi-cancer early detection test,” said CEO Hans Bishop. “Nearly 80 percent of cancer deaths result from cancers for which there is no screening test today, and Grail’s mission is to change that through the early detection and localization of more than 50 cancers.”

“Enabling this through a single blood draw could improve patient access and adherence to cancer screening and address disparities in cancer care by improving access for rural, vulnerable, and underserved populations,” said Bishop.

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board—known as CPP Investments, which joined the series D round alongside the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, or PSP Investments—maintains about one-third of its total assets in a U.S.-based portfolio, totaling about $100 billion as of the end of last year.

CPP established its second U.S. office in San Francisco last August to help foster investment opportunities in high-tech companies across Silicon Valley and the Bay Area such as Menlo Park, California-based Grail.