Guardant Health Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Bellwether Bio
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., March 27, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Guardant Health, Inc. (Nasdaq: GH), announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Bellwether Bio, Inc., a privately held company focused on improving oncology patient care through their pioneering research into the epigenomic content of cell free DNA. The transaction is expected to close in April 2019.
The Bellwether Bio team will join Guardant Health to further advance its early detection product pipeline. The team includes Jay Shendure, MD, PhD, who will act as a scientific advisor to Guardant Health. His lab's work on the epigenomics of cell-free DNA, specifically with respect to nucleosome positioning and fragmentomics, was described in a landmark Cell publication in 2016 co-authored by Bellwether Bio CTO Matthew Snyder, PhD.
“We are excited to welcome the Bellwether team and believe they will enhance our product pipeline as we seek to expand precision oncology to earlier stages of disease,” said Guardant Health Co-Founder and President AmirAli Talasaz, PhD. “Our early research has shown the strong potential impact of incorporating biologically-relevant epigenomic information on the clinical performance of blood tests for early stage cancer detection.”
At the AACR annual meeting in Atlanta on March 31, 3pm, investigators from Guardant Health and the Samsung Medical Center will report results from a pilot study (abstract #916) of Guardant’s LUNAR assay in early stage cancer. The study demonstrates that addition of epigenomics to the assay can potentially lead to significant improvements in sensitivity for stage I and II colorectal cancer.
“Guardant has demonstrated remarkable progress toward its goal,” Bellwether Bio CEO Rahul Shendure said. “I am proud of the groundbreaking work the Bellwether team has accomplished to date and believe that joining Guardant’s efforts will speed their path even further.”
About Guardant Health
Guardant Health is a leading precision oncology company focused on helping conquer cancer globally through use of its proprietary blood tests, vast data sets and advanced analytics. The Guardant Health Oncology Platform leverages capabilities in technology, clinical development, regulatory and reimbursement to drive commercial adoption, improve patient clinical outcomes and lower healthcare costs. In pursuit of its goal to manage cancer across all stages of the disease, Guardant Health has launched liquid biopsy-based Guardant360 and GuardantOMNI tests for advanced stage cancer patients, which fuel its LUNAR-1 and LUNAR-2 programs for minimal residual disease/recurrence monitoring and for early detection screening, respectively. Since its launch in 2014, Guardant360 test has been used by more than 6,000 oncologists, over 50 biopharmaceutical companies and all 28 of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network centers.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws, including statements regarding the expected consummation of the acquisition of Bellwether Bio, Inc. These statements are based on current expectations, forecasts and assumptions, and actual outcomes and results could differ materially from these statements due to a number of factors. Additional risks and uncertainties that could affect Guardant Health’s financial and operating results and cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements made in this press release include those discussed under the captions "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation" and elsewhere in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018 and in its other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to Guardant Health as of the date hereof, and Guardant Health disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements provided to reflect any change in its expectations or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which any such statement is based, except as required by law. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing Guardant Health’s views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.
Lynn Lewis or Carrie Mendivil
Josh Wein or Ian Stone
Source: Guardant Health, Inc.
Cancer Diagnostics Technology Developer Bellwether Bio Completes Seed Financing
Leading Seattle investors back spinout from Jay Shendure’s lab at the University of Washington.
SEATTLE, February 7, 2017 – Bellwether Bio, a Seattle-based genomics startup focused on improving the accuracy of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) diagnostics for cancer and other conditions, today announced it has completed an oversubscribed seed financing.
Participants in the round include the W Fund, WRF Capital, and Bioeconomy Capital along with a number of prominent biotechnology and software angel investors. Chad Waite, Managing Director of OVP Venture Partners and an Investment Committee member at the W Fund, will join Bellwether’s board of directors as an observer.
In a groundbreaking Cell paper published last year, a team led by Bellwether co-founders Matthew Snyder and Jay Shendure demonstrated proof-of-concept for a new approach to cfDNA cancer diagnostics that overcomes key challenges with the more common sequence- or methylation-driven approaches. Launched through CoMotion at UW, Bellwether is actively collaborating with leading cancer diagnostics companies to validate and commercialize its liquid biopsy technology.
Bellwether is recruiting scientists with expertise in genomics and computer science to join its team in Seattle. More information is available at www.bellwetherbio.com.
About the W Fund
The W Fund is an early-stage venture fund that invests in promising start-ups spinning out of the University of Washington and other research institutions across the state.
About WRF Capital
Washington Research Foundation’s venture fund, WRF Capital, specializes in science-based spinouts from Washington nonprofit research institutions to transform great ideas into successful Washington-based businesses.
About Bioeconomy Capital
Bioeconomy Capital invests in early-stage companies that are building the Bioeconomy, with a principal focus on industrial biotechnology and enabling tools and technologies.
About University of Washington
Reuters ranks University of Washington as the most innovative public university in the world. CoMotion is the collaborative innovation hub dedicated to expanding the societal impact of the UW community.
About Bellwether Bio
Bellwether Bio is a privately-held Seattle-based startup developing novel cell-free DNA-based diagnostic technologies. Bellwether is collaborating with leading diagnostic companies to improve their platforms.