Guardant Health has developed new technology for the war on cancer

When testing for the possibility of certain types of cancer, doctors often do surgery to retrieve biopsies for genetic analysis. But when a patient has already had cancer, and is testing for a possibility of recurrence, Helmy Eltoukhy, the co-founder of medical tech startup Guardant Health, believes that a blood test could replace a biopsy and avoid surgery.

A startup has developed new technology that it claims can open a new front in the war on cancer. Guardant Health has developed a non-invasive screening tool that relies on a blood sample rather than tissue. The test, dubbed the “Guardant 360,” is designed to help patients avoid risky and expensive biopsies. Biopsies can cost up to $10,000 for people not covered by insurance. By contrast, Guardant expects its test to be available for a few hundred dollars. The Redwood City, Calif.-based company announced this week that it will begin selling its genetic screening tool to some 100,000 patients in a handful of cancer clinics. Guardant also disclosed that it has raised $10 million in capital fromSequoia Capital, a venture firm that is increasingly investing in the personalized medicine trend. Sequoia’s health investor, Warren Hogarth, has joined the company’s board.

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