US-based biotechnology company Freenome has raised $254m to advance the development of its blood tests for the early detection of cancer.

The funding comes as the company works through two clinical trials aimed at demonstrating two of Freenome’s pipeline products, including its blood-based screening test for adults at risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), and its lung cancer screening test.

The investment was provided by groups, including German pharmaceutical giant, Roche, alongside financing from venture capital funds such as the a16z Life Sciences Growth Fund, the American Cancer Society’s BrightEdge Ventures and ARK Investments among others.

Mike Nolan, chief executive officer of Freenome, said: “We are grateful for the support and confidence of our investors. Together, we share a commitment to addressing the pressing need for better cancer screening solutions as we drive to make early cancer detection more convenient, accessible and actionable for everyone. With this financing, we are well positioned to realise the full potential of our platform in delivering tests for early cancer detection.”

GlobalData’s Medical Device Intelligence Centre details how the oncology diagnostics market is expected to rise to an estimated more than $3.1bn by the end of 2030 with investor Roche itself partnering with artificial intelligence (AI) company PathAI to develop algorithms for its own diagnostics offerings in the form of a companion app.

The announcement comes alongside two ongoing clinical trials launched by Freenome, including its prospective PREEMPT CRC study (NCT04369053), a longitudinal real-world data study consisting of under 40,000 participants evaluating the company’s blood-based screening test among adults at average risk for CRC.

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At the same time, the company is working on its PROACT LUNG trial (NCT06122077), a prospective trial in the process of recruitment and is set to enrol 20,000 potential patients aged over 50 at high risk of developing lung cancer, who are eligible for screening with a low dose computerised tomography scan (LDCT), to validate its lung screening test.

Additionally, Freenome is working through a multi-centre, multi-cancer research program with more than 6,200 participants enrolled, dubbed the Vallania Study (NCT05254834). The study will compare blood samples from both cancer and non-cancer individuals to understand patterns associated with lung and other cancers.

Roche Diagnostics CEO Matt Sause said: “Enabling wider access to early cancer screening means helping patients receive timely information that can lead to better outcomes. Freenome’s groundbreaking blood-based screening and data-driven insights offer incredible potential to transform personalised healthcare.”