Grail, a spinout company of the DNA-sequencing giant Illumina, has a very bold mission: to develop a blood-based screening test for cancer.  The company is now seeking to raise $1.7 billion, say three sources familiar with the matter, to fund a large-scale clinical trial in the United Kingdom involving 500,000 people.

The underlying science is nothing new…But it’s never been applied to early-stage cancer detection, a far more challenging prospect. Grail is convinced it can do it through an ultra-deep sequencing approach. (fast