NEW YORK – Durham, North Carolina-based Xilis on Thursday said it has raised $70 million in a Series A funding round that it will use to advance its tumor organoid platform and machine learning capabilities into a tool to identify the right treatments for patients and streamline drug development.
The financing was led by Mubadala Capital and included new investors GV (formerly Google Ventures), European healthcare investment firm LSP, Catalio Capital Management, and Duke Angel Network. Current investors Felicis Ventures, Two Sigma Ventures, Pear VC, KdT Ventures, and Alix Ventures also participated in the round.
Xilis, founded in 2019, will use the raised funds to advance its MicroOrganoSphere technology, expand machine learning capabilities, conduct clinical trials using its technology, and validate its use in drug development with pharmaceutical partners. The company's MOS platform creates miniature models of cancer patients' tumors that capture their native microenvironment and heterogeneity. The firm is using MOS and machine learning algorithms to develop the Xilis Response Score, which predicts whether cancer patients are likely to respond to treatment.
Developing organoids can be a slow and expensive process, which Xilis is hoping to streamline with its technology. The process from tumor biopsy to identifying treatment options for patients using MOS takes less than two weeks, according to the company.
Xilis believes the MOS technology can also help drugmakers learn more about the efficacy and toxicities of their drugs during the R&D process, select the right patients for drug trials, and by modeling patients' immune microenvironment, be particularly informative for the development of immunotherapy drugs.
"Our vision is to transform cancer care in diagnostics and reshape drug development by providing a technology for rapid therapeutic profiling," Xiling Shen, Xilis' CEO and founder, said in a statement, adding that the investors supporting its Series A funding round will help the company "enable personalized precision oncology and bring transformative medicines to patients faster and with higher success rates."