DFJ Growth's Justin Kao Joins Delfi Board of Directors
BALTIMORE and PALO ALTO, Calif., July 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Delfi Diagnostics, Inc., a pioneering developer of a new class of high-performance, accessible liquid biopsy tests for early cancer detection and monitoring, today announced a Series B funding of $225 million.
This round of financing was led by DFJ Growth with participation from Eli Lilly and Company, Point72, Brown Advisory, Point Field Partners, Initiate Ventures, Open Field Capital, PTX Capital, and all existing investors including Cowen Healthcare Investments, Foresite Capital, Menlo Ventures, OrbiMed, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Northpond Ventures, Samsara BioCapital, Rock Springs Capital, AV8 Ventures, Illumina Ventures, Osage University Partners, and Windham Venture Partners.
"Cancer is a global public health problem and addressing it requires a solution that is accessible around the world," said Victor Velculescu, MD, PhD, Delfi's CEO and Founder. "We believe our approach is uniquely capable of delivering high performing, cost effective, and clinically relevant tests for multiple applications to meet the needs of patients and providers everywhere."
This funding will support the continued development and commercialization of high-quality and accessible blood tests for single cancer early detection, multi-cancer early detection, and treatment monitoring.
"With this financing, Delfi is even better positioned to make high-quality liquid biopsy applications broadly available regardless of geographic and socioeconomic constraints," said Doug Schenkel, Delfi's CFO. "We recognize that a fundraising of this magnitude is a notable achievement and with that comes great responsibility. Our focus on the Delfi mission to save lives through early cancer detection has never been higher."
Delfi's platform is designed to efficiently develop high-quality liquid biopsy applications via a proprietary and uniquely scalable whole genome fragmentation approach. Rather than looking for relatively scarce signs of cancer found in DNA mutations or methylation changes within narrow regions of the genome, Delfi analyzes cell-free DNA fragments across the entire genome. This allows for a single, low-cost, and straightforward lab process for any test developed on the platform. When combined with breakthroughs in machine learning, the Delfi platform can deliver high-performing results for multiple applications.
Delfi is currently validating the technology for early detection of lung and other cancers in a 15,000-person prospective trial called CASCADE-LUNG, and is working with multiple research institutions to develop additional applications including screening for other cancer types, multi-cancer early detection, and treatment monitoring.
"Delfi has made incredible progress in a short amount of time," said DFJ Growth Partner Justin Kao, who joins Delfi's board of directors. "We believe that Delfi's low cost approach is critical to bringing early cancer detection to millions of patients globally. But the most exciting thing about Delfi is its potential to create a next-generation diagnostics company that innovates on data and analytics rather than focusing on ever-more complicated wet lab techniques. Delfi's cutting-edge machine learning enables new products to be built on the same flexible assay, which has the potential to revolutionize the way we detect and manage cancer. I am thrilled to be joining this board to help Delfi fulfill this potential."
Delfi is developing a new class of liquid biopsy tests for early detection based on altered genome-wide fragmentation profiles, also known as "fragmentomes," representing aberrant packaging of DNA in cancer cells. By applying advanced machine learning algorithms, these fragment patterns are detectable at a very low sequencing cost. Delfi ("DNA Evaluation of Fragments for early Interception") is using this technology to develop highly sensitive and specific cancer detection assays intended for wide and cost-effective distribution and adoption.
SOURCE Delfi Diagnostics