May 9, 2023
Announcing XinThera’s Acquisition by Gilead Sciences
By Michael Rome
Today we are pleased to share the news that XinThera has been acquired by Gilead Sciences. XinThera was founded in 2021 by Stephen Kaldor, Qing Dong, and Gene Hung, all serial entrepreneurs we have worked with in the past, most recently with FronThera (now part of our portfolio company Alumis). Foresite Capital was the founding investor.
XinThera focuses on drugs that block the proteins PARP1 or MK2. PARP1 belongs to a family of enzymes that are involved in repairing DNA damage. Several approved medicines target these enzymes for certain cancers, including ovarian, breast and prostate cancers. We invested in XinThera because the founding team has outstanding backgrounds in medicinal chemistry (led by Qing Dong) and translational biology (led by Gene Hung), and CEO Chris LeMasters has a track record in business development and selling companies. The Foresite Capital therapeutics team worked closely with XinThera to select the initial targets; the focus on these targets led to the firm’s acquisition.
We are saddened that Stephen Kaldor is not with us to see this milestone. Stephen was an entrepreneur and drug hunter whom we had the great privilege to work alongside and invest in multiple times. Stephen passed away in 2022, and his legacy of improving lives through drug discovery lives on. It is our hope that XinThera’s pipeline of drugs, now with the backing of Gilead, will continue this legacy.
Flavius Martin, Gilead’s head of research, said in a statement: “The team at XinThera has developed research assets with the potential to target the DNA damage repair pathway in treating cancer and direct the body’s immune response in inflammatory diseases, both of which may improve outcomes for people living with these diseases.”
We congratulate the entire team at XinThera on this milestone, and look forward to future developments as their drugs enter the clinic.