Delfi Diagnostics, a US-based developer of liquid biopsy tests for early cancer detection, has received $225m in a Series B financing round led by venture capital firm DFJ Growth.

The round also saw participation from new investors Eli Lilly and Company, Point72, Brown Advisory, Point Field Partners, Initiate Ventures, Open Field Capital, and PTX Capital.

In addition, all the existing investors Cowen Healthcare Investments, Foresite Capital, Menlo Ventures, OrbiMed, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Northpond Ventures, Samsara BioCapital, Rock Springs Capital, AV8 Ventures, Illumina Ventures, Osage University Partners, and Windham Venture Partners, participated in the Series B round.

Delfi intends to use the funding to support the development and marketing of its high-quality blood tests for early detection of single, and multi-cancers, and treatment monitoring.

As part of the equity investment, DFJ Growth Partner Justin Kao will be appointed to Delfi’s board of directors.

Justin Kao said: “Delfi has made incredible progress in a short amount of time. 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 fulfil this potential.”

Delfi has designed its platform for the development of high-quality liquid biopsy applications through a uniquely scalable whole genome fragmentation approach.

Instead of detecting DNA mutations or methylation changes in the genome, which show limited signs of cancer, it analyses cell-free DNA fragments across the entire genome.

The company claims that its cell-free DNA approach will provide a single, low-cost, and straightforward lab process for any test developed on the platform.

In addition, the Delfi platform is said to combine breakthroughs in machine learning to deliver high-performing results for multiple applications.

The company is currently validating the technology for early detection of lung and other cancers in the CASCADE-LUNG clinical trial, which will enrol 15,000 participants.

Delfi CEO and founder Victor Velculescu said: “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.”

Delfi CFO Doug Schenkel said: “With this financing, Delfi is even better positioned to make high-quality liquid biopsy applications broadly available regardless of geographic and socioeconomic constraints.”