CEO: Helmy Eltoukhy
Based: Redwood City, California
By focusing on novel blood-based assays, data sets and analytics, Guardant Health’s goal is to overcome a number of challenges in the area of cancer care. The company introduced its Guardant360 assay in 2014 and says it’s been used by 3,000 oncologists to analyze more than 35,000 patient samples.
The company touts the device as the most widely ordered comprehensive liquid biopsy on the market. The assay searches for 73 cancer genes in blood samples drawn from patients. Physicians can then use the results to identify the treatments and clinical trials best suited to the genetics of their patients. The data collected also has wider-reaching implications.
“We realize we are only scratching the surface of its potential impact on oncology," CEO Helmy Eltoukhy has said.
Earlier this year, Guardant inked a deal with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to elevate comprehensive liquid biopsy as a standard of care in cancer treatment. And in May, the company reeled in $360 million as part of a mega round of financing led by SoftBank. The funds are to be used to move forward with the Guardant’s sequencing initiative while fueling global expansion and supporting its early detection R&D program.
What makes Guardant fierce
The company has positioned itself as a pioneer in the field. Last year it announced its Project LUNAR, which is an effort to use its technology platform for early detection, recurrence monitoring and assessing minimal residual disease.
What to look for
Guardant has set a goal of sequencing the tumor DNA of 1 million cancer patients in the next five years.
“Every physician who orders one of our tests and every patient whose tumor DNA we sequence add to this larger mission by improving our understanding of this complex disease,” Eltoukhy said when the mega round of financing was announced.
“With this ambitious five-year effort, we intend to accelerate this progress and provide a much-needed infusion of data into the field.” As part of the joint venture with SoftBank, Guardant is gearing up to commercialize Guardant360 in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, parts of the world with an estimated 7.8 million new cases of cancer a year.