DELFI Diagnostics Got Funded for Cancer Screening AI Fragmentomics Platform

DELFI Diagnostics, Inc., a developer of accessible blood-based tests that deliver a new way to enhance cancer detection, today announced an equity investment by the Merck Global Health Innovation Fund (GHIF), the corporate venture capital arm of Merck & Co., Inc, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. The capital will accelerate and expand DELFI’s development and commercialization of its cancer detection solutions. DELFI’s fragmentomics technology applies artificial intelligence (AI) to whole-genome sequencing data to compare an individual’s cell-free DNA (cfDNA) patterns and characteristics against populations with and without cancer.

The investment is expected to yield a range of innovative approaches to address the gaps in detection and monitoring treatment efficacy for millions of patients facing cancer now and in the years ahead.

“We are thrilled to enter this strategic agreement with the Merck Global Health Innovation Fund,” said Susan Tousi, DELFI’s Chief Executive Officer. “This investment will help propel our fragmentomics and AI technologies, with the potential to make a meaningful population-scale difference in detecting cancer early with high precision at a disruptive price.”

“Early detection is key to improving outcomes for people with cancer,” said David M. Rubin, Ph.D., Managing Director at Merck Global Health Innovation Fund. “We look forward to working with the DELFI leadership to build on the achievements to date and further expand lung cancer screening access.”

DELFI has commercialized the FirstLook Lung test, which evaluates patterns of DNA fragments in the blood that reveal the presence of lung cancer. In an independent validation, FirstLook Lung was shown to have 80% sensitivity in a screening population, including reliable detection of the earliest stages of the disease. The test also demonstrated a negative predictive value (NPV) of 99.8% – a measure of how unlikely low-dose CT scans will detect lung cancer if the FirstLook Lung test returns a ‘Not Elevated’ result. 

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