Delfi Diagnostics, a pioneering developer of a new class of high-performance, affordable liquid biopsy tests for early cancer detection and monitoring, appointed Jacob Van Naarden, Senior Vice President of Eli Lilly and Company and CEO of Loxo@Lilly, to its board of directors.
“Jake has unique experience developing and commercializing oncology medicines and knows what it takes to get technologies from the lab into clinical practice,” said Delfi Diagnostics Founder and CEO, Victor Velculescu, MD, PhD. “I am excited to have Jake’s expertise on the Board and look forward to collaborating with him.”
Jake joined Lilly in 2019 when the company acquired Loxo Oncology, Inc., where he was the chief operating officer. Following the acquisition, Jake played a key role in establishing the Loxo@Lilly research and development program. In his role as CEO of Loxo@Lilly, Jake oversees discovery, development and commercial for oncology at Lilly. In his earlier roles, Jake worked in various biotechnology investing, operational, and advisory capacities, including positions with HealthCor Management, Aisling Capital, and Goldman Sachs.
“The Delfi technology has the potential to meaningfully impact and improve public health, through more effective screening, diagnosis, and management of patients with cancer,” Van Naarden said. “I look forward to working with the management team and Board as we embark on these critical years of product development and commercialization.”
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 is using this technology to develop highly sensitive and specific cancer detection assays intended for wide and cost-effective distribution and adoption.