The 19 billion-dollar startups to watch that are revolutionizing healthcare in 2020

Grail – $3.87 billion

Blood draw purple EDTA tube

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Since it got its start in 2016, Grail has raised more than $1.75 billion from the likes of Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates, along with big names from the pharmaceutical, tech, and healthcare industries, including Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Arch Venture Partners, Amazon, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, and Merck.

The idea behind its cancer-screening test is to identify the tiny bits of cancer DNA that are hanging out in our blood but are undetectable. If companies like Grail are successful, they would be the first to pull off a cancer-detecting blood test that works proactively.

The concept is similar to liquid biopsy tests, which use blood samples to sequence genetic information in that blood to figure out how tumors are responding to a certain cancer therapy. In 2017, Grail acquired Cirina, a Hong Kong company that is also looking at early cancer detection.

Earlier this month, the company raised an additional $125 million out of a $250 million offering, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company has started presenting data, including some on early-stage lung-cancer detection, and plans to return results from its early-stage cancer-detection test in 2020.

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