Apr 24, 2024 - Business

Ex-Stanford president's AI biotech startup snares $1 billion

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Illustration: Tiffany Herring/Axios

Xaira Therapeutics, an AI drug discovery startup, has launched with more than $1 billion in funding co-led by Arch Venture Partners and Foresite Capital.

Why it matters: Xaira is the landing spot for CEO Marc Tessier-Lavigne, the former Genentech chief scientific officer and Denali Therapeutics co-founder who last year resigned as Stanford University president after findings of research manipulation in his lab.

  • Tessier-Lavigne himself was cleared of wrongdoing.

Other investors in the San Francisco-based company include F-Prime, NEA, Sequoia Capital, Lux Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, Two Sigma Ventures, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Byers Capital, Rsquared, and SV Angel.

  • Arch's investment in Xaira is the largest in the venture firm's 39-year history.

Go deeper, per FierceBiotech: "Xaira will combine machine learning, data generation and therapeutic product development to build a platform for drug discovery … Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, Nobel laureate Carolyn Bertozzi, and former Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky are just a few of the who's who of industry veterans who will sit on Xaira's board."

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