Foundation offers to the public the kind of in-detailed genetic cancer testing made famous by Steve Jobs. Jobs was the first well-known person to try this sort of thing.
For about $US6,000, this test uncovers all the genetic mutations that lead to a person’s tumour. It’s helping to usher in a new era of “personalised medicine” where doctors choose cancer treatments based on genetic knowledge.
Jobs spent some $US100,000 to have this kind of test done, according to Walter Isaacson’s biography, and in the end, it obviously didn’t save him.
But he deeply believed in the value of the attempt, saying “I’m either going to be one of the first to be able to outrun a cancer like this, or I’m going to be one of the last to die from it,” reports Antonio Regalado, MIT Technology Review.
After Jobs died, the doctors who worked on the test at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, left Broad to start Foundation. Bill Gates and Larry Page both visited Jobs shortly before his death, according to Isaacson, and while they could do nothing to help him, they did help fund Foundation.
Bill Gates was part of the company’s initial $US13.5 million round and still owns 4%, according to documents filed with the SEC.
Google Ventures, the venture capital arm of Google, was part of a long list of VCs that later kicked in cash, and still owns 9%. In fact, foundation raised a whopping $US251 million from investors in two years.
With its IPO last week, Foundation raised another $US106 million and investors have already done well. It’s shares opened at $US18, above its range of $US14 to $US16, and the stock has nearly doubled, to above $US35.