Silverback Therapeutics, a stealthy biotech startup co-founded by investor, entrepreneur and University of Washington neurosurgery professor Peter Thompson, has raised $10 million in venture funding, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The funding was raised last year, but there may be more on the way — the Feb. 6 filing lists the $10 million as part of a larger $60 million round. The Seattle Times reported last April that the funding may have come in part from OrbiMed Advisors, a Bay-Area based life science venture fund where Thompson is a partner.
Silverback is in stealth mode — it has not released any information on the company’s focus or operations, doesn’t have a website, and Thompson’s co-founder hasn’t been publicly named.
Reached by phone, Thompson declined to comment on the company’s focus or give any further details.
According to LinkedIn pages, many of the company’s employees have experience in immunotherapy, using the body’s immune system to fight disease, particularly cancer.
Several members of Silverback’s executive team have formerly held executive positions at Juno Therapeutics, a Seattle-based immunotherapy company that spun out of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
The company’s head of clinical developments, Sam Blackman, was previously the senior medical director at Juno. The company’s SVP of research, Valerie Odegard, was Juno’s VP of research. Both also have other experience in immunotherapy or oncology. Former pharmaceutical advisor and executive Peter Baum is listed as the company’s VP of Immunology.
Thompson also co-founded and is currently the director of Corvus Pharmaceuticals, a Bay-Area immunotherapy company. He also co-founded and served as CEO of Trubion Pharmaceuticals.
Several scientists who list Silverback as their place of employment on LinkedIn also have backgrounds in immunotherapy, namely antibody therapies. Work on this kind of immunotherapy has been shadowed in the Seattle area by a huge emphasis on CAR T cell therapies, the area that Juno focuses on.