C2i Genomics lands $100M to scale up software that detects tiny traces of cancer in a single blood draw

DNA helix forming inside a test tube
The C2-Intelligence platform uses artificial intelligence and whole-genome analysis to detect residual cancer cells from a single blood test. (Getty Images)

At barely two years old, C2i Genomics is already going through a major growth spurt.

The company, which is developing a blood test to detect residual cancer cells after tumor removal, just closed $100 million in funding, nearly 10 times the size of the series A it racked up less than a year ago.

The proceeds came in the form of a convertible note across two $50 million tranches, led by Casdin Capital. Other investors included NFX, Duquesne Family Office, Section 32, iGlobe Partners and Driehaus Capital.

C2i, founded in 2019 and based in New York City, will use the money to further develop and later commercialize its diagnostics software. That includes pursuing regulatory approvals for the software, which is currently used in drug research, though not cleared by the FDA for clinical use.

RELATED: Liquid biopsy maker Nucleix rakes in $55M to develop blood tests to detect lung cancer early

The company's C2-Intelligence Platform relies on whole-genome analysis to identify the tiny amounts of cancer cells that can remain in the bloodstream after a tumor is surgically removed. Often, uncertainty about the presence of residual cancer cells can lead to overuse of chemotherapy and radiation—or, conversely, a total lack of treatment.

The company says its cloud-based software, which requires only a two-milliliter sample of blood, is 100 times more sensitive than competing liquid biopsies. The C2-Intelligence platform can return its analyses in as little as one week. Plus, it can be installed in any lab with access to a genome sequencing machine.

CEO Asaf Zviran, a cancer survivor himself, began developing the technology several years before co-founding the company, through research he conducted at the New York Genome Center and Weill Cornell Medicine. Its cancer-detecting abilities have since been validated in a study published in Nature Medicine last June.

RELATED: FDA approves Guardant's tumor-sequencing blood test as a Tagrisso lung cancer diagnostic

C2i has already formed clinical research and drug development collaborations with global partners, including NYU Langone Health, National Cancer Centre Singapore, Aarhus University Hospital and Lausanne University Hospital. The new funding will also help the company expand its reach in the pharmaceutical industry.

“I founded C2i to help patients and physicians navigate the complicated cancer treatment process with better intelligence,” Zviran said. “I am beyond grateful for the backing of this incredible list of investors to help give cancer patients the precision and certainty they expect and deserve.”

The series B comes 10 months after C2i raked in a $12 million series A, also led by Casdin Capital. Between the two funding rounds, C2i further accelerated its explosive growth with the acquisition of CLIA-certified sequencing lab QNA Dx in March. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but C2i said the acquisition would help speed up commercialization of the C2-Intelligence platform.