Grail said to be planning IPO in Hong Kong to raise $500M

Grail, which seeks to develop liquid biopsies to catch cancer early, is looking at an initial public offering in Hong Kong, Bloomberg reported.

If the IPO comes to fruition, the offering would help bolster the Asian market’s attempts to attract more biotech listings.

Although a final offering amount hasn’t been set, unnamed sources told Bloomberg that Grail may be seeking to raise as much as $500 million. Grail, like Shanghai Henlius Biotech, may be looking to take advantage of the Hong Kong exchange’s proposed new listing rules designed to entice early-stage biotech firms to the market, the news service said.

Grail declined to comment on the report, Bloomberg said.

Late last year, the Menlo Park, California-based company, which is backed by Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, announced its screening test for a type of cancer commonly found in Asia would be launched in Hong Kong later this year. Other investors in Grail include Tencent Holdings, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Merck.

Grail spun out of Illumina a little over a year ago, and the company raised $900 million in series B financing by last March. The money, along with $100 million in series A funding previously raised, was directed to support large-scale clinical trials involving hundreds of thousands of patients.

The company is focusing on tracking DNA shed by tumors that circulates in the blood.