Illumina, Bill Gates & Jeff Bezos launched startup GRAIL to develop blood-based cancer tests

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Who: GRAIL
Where: San Diego, the USA
What: Launched by Illumina
When: 8 January 2016
Why: To develop blood-based cancer tests

Illumina, the world’s largest DNA sequencing company, on 10 January 2015 announced the launch of the startup named GRAIL to develop blood-based cancer tests.

The company was launched in association with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezo’s venture fund Bezos Expeditions and Arch Venture Partners.

Details related to Illumina

• The company will develop blood tests that cost 1000 US dollars or less for detecting many types of cancer before symptoms arise.
• The test, which is also called as liquid biopsy, will use high-speed DNA sequencing machines to scour a person’s blood for fragments of DNA released by cancer cells.
• All the partners in the startup raised around 100 million US dollars among themselves, in which Illumina will have the majority stake holder.
• The newly developed tests are expected to reach the market by 2019.
• GRAIL will operate from San Diego in California, the USA.