In biggest-ever bet on using AI to design drugs, biotech heavyweights launch Xaira with $1B+ in backing

A star-studded mix of venture capitalists and scientists, backed by more than a billion dollars, is launching an ambitious biotech that aims to reinvent drug R&D using artificial intelligence, the group exclusively told Endpoints News.

The company, Xaira Therapeutics, is one of this year’s most richly funded new companies, not only in biotech but across the startup world, reflecting the enthusiasm and technological progress in using AI to unlock the mysteries of biology. The group has tapped Marc Tessier-Lavigne, formerly the president of Stanford University and chief scientific officer of Genentech, as CEO to turn a cash-flush vision into reality.

“AI is going to transform every step of the drug discovery process,” Tessier-Lavigne said in an interview with Endpoints. “At the very least, everybody would agree it’s going to improve things incrementally: 10% here, 20% there, 30%. You multiply all of that out and you could get two-, three-fold improvements…
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