Durham biotech startup Xilis raises $19M for precision cancer therapy, drug discovery

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Biotech startup Xilis has added another $19 million to its round of financing, pushing the total to $89 million from the $70 million announced a year ago.

The company is focusing on ways to speed up drug discovery and improve precision therapy targeting cancer.

Xilis was founded by two professors at Duke University focusing on technology to boost precision health and oncology.

Xilis focuses on what it calls MicroOrganoSphere (MOS) technology to not only assist precision therapy delivery for cancer patients but also to accelerate drug discovery and development.


Xilis’ proprietary MicroOrganoSpher (MOS) technology consists of miniature patient tumors that capture the full microenvironment and heterogeneity and provides an automated and scalable solution. Using MOS and AI-driven algorithms, Xilis is developing a Xilis Response Score™ for the clinic, enabling oncologists to make informed and timely treatment decisions. Additionally, the MOS technology is speeding up development and clinical trials of cancer drugs by enabling analysis of authentic tumor microenvironments, high-throughput preclinical modeling, and clinical patient selection capabilities. – From Xilis

FPV Ventures, a new investor, led the additional funding. Alexandria Venture Investments is a new backer. Other funders include existing investors EQT Life Sciences, Mubadala Capital Management, Pear Ventures, GV (formerly Google Ventures), the Duke Angel Network, Catalio Capital Management, Two Sigma Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Alix Ventures and other strategic partners.

“Despite unprecedented market conditions in the biotech sector, we raised this extension at a step-up valuation and from several of the most reputable global investors. Our investors are strongly encouraged by the progress we have made in building diagnostic programs that predict patient response and achieving significant traction in partnered drug discovery and development,” said Xiling Shen, PhD, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Xilis, in the announcement. “Our MOS technology is the first end-to-end, high-throughput patient-derived model drug discovery platform to identify drug candidates with a high probability of clinical success.”

The funding will be used for more development if its MOS platform, the company said.

Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire