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With Ex-Juno (JUNO) Employees on Its Roster, Seattle's Silverback Therapeutics Files $10 Million Out of $60 Million Goal

2/15/2017 7:22:15 AM

With Ex-Juno Employees on Its Roster, Seattle's Silverback Files $10 Million Out of $60 Million Goal February 15, 2017
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

Silverback Therapeutics, although still apparently in stealth mode, launched in Bellevue, Washington with $10 million. According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), that $10 million is part of a $60 million financing.

The filer was Peter Thompson, the only executive listed on the filing. He is a private equity partner at OrbiMed Advisors. Thompson, a physician by training, is also the co-founder and director of Corvus Pharmaceuticals. He is listed as the co-founder and chief executive officer of Silverback Therapeutics in his LinkedIn profile. He is also chairman of the board of Principia Biopharma, co-founder and director of Cleave Biosciences, and Affiliate Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Washington.

He was also the co-founder of Trubion Pharmaceuticals (TRBN), which was acquired by Emergent BioSolutions (EBS) in 2010.

Other employees listed via LinkedIn include:

Badreddin Edris, a senior associate at OrbiMed and co-founder & head of corp. develop, Silverback

Valerie Odegard, who indicates she is the senior vice president of research, Silverback

Samuel Blackman, senior vice president, Silverback

Peter Baum, vice president of Immunology, Silverback

Ken Brasel, senior scientist, Silverback

Rebecca Brunette, scientist, Silverback

Brenda Stevens, senior scientist, Silverback

Although the company has not released any information about what it’s focused on, many of the people listed as involved with the company have a background in immunology, and some held positions at Juno Therapeutics (JUNO), also based in the Seattle area, which is an immuno-oncology company. Blackman was senior medical director at Juno. Odegard was Juno’s vice president of research.

At Juno, Blackman was focused on the development of CAR-T cells and high-affinity recombinant TCR cellular therapeutics. Prior to that, he was head of Translational medicine at Seattle Genetics (SGEN), where he led integration and planning for early clinical testing of new antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for oncology.
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Odegard’s background is in immunology. Prior to Juno, she was director of Cellular Immunology at Novo Nordisk (NVO), and before that, senior scientist at Trubion Pharmaceuticals. Her PhD from Yale University was in Immunobiology. She holds two patents for TCR Complex Immunotherapeutics along with Thompson, Catherine McMahan, Peter Baum, Philip Tan, John Blankenship and Sateesh Natarajan. TCR Complex Immunotherapeutics are related to organ allograft rejection, although they also have mechanisms related to so-called cytokine storms, which have been a significant problem with some immuno-oncology treatments.

Peter Baum’s listing on LinkedIn gives the most information about Silverback’s focus, stating, “Developing therapeutics in immuno-oncology.” In addition to co-chairing the board of directors of the Sustainable Path Foundation, Baum was a biopharma consultant. From 2006 to 2009, he was the vice president of research and development for Trubion Pharmaceuticals.

It appears that the newest information about Silverback is the financing. In July 2016, it was announced that the company was leasing about 19,400 square feet of space at the Vue Research Center in Seattle. It was incorporated in early 2016. The Vue is owned by BioMed Realty, a real estate developer focused on life science and biotech properties.

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