People, Venture

Grail CSO Vikram Bajaj jumps to VC firm Foresite, takes lead on personalized meds

After just one year on the job, Vikram Bajaj has left his post as chief scientific officer of cancer biotech Grail and is joining investment firm Foresite Capital as managing director.

Vikram Bajaj

San Francisco-based Foresite, a VC and private equity firm with $1.2 billion in assets under management, will leverage Bajaj’s background in genetics and data science to find investment opportunities in personalized medicine. Jim Tananbaum, Foresite’s CEO, told Axios that hiring Bajaj is about expanding the firm’s areas of expertise. He thinks personalized medicine is a safe bet.

“The world is going to favor the superior product, clinically, and the product that reduces costs to the system,” Tananbaum told Axios.

Bajaj brings much to the table. On top of being the co-founder of Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences), Bajaj also led laboratory and data science teams at Grail. The Silicon Valley cancer biotech is best known for snagging a $900 million Series B earlier this year, barely one year after its spin out from DNA sequencing giant Illumina.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first top executive Grail has lost this year. Back in August, ex-Googler Jeffrey Huber stepped down from his role as CEO, handing the reins to Bill Rastetter. Huber remains on Grail’s board of directors, and Bajaj is staying on the company’s scientific advisory board. “There is no reason to point to for leaving other than the opportunity at Foresite,” he told STAT.



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