The largest community of pharma leaders

Silverback Therapeutics Announces Appointment of Veteran Executive Laura Shawver, Ph.D. as President and CEO

SEATTLE–()–Silverback Therapeutics™ (“Silverback”) today announced that Laura Shawver, Ph.D., was appointed president, chief executive officer and director of Silverback Therapeutics to lead the next phase of growth utilizing ImmunoTAC™ therapeutics that are administered systemically, tissue-directed, and locally active with a pipeline of programs in oncology, fibrosis and virology. Dr. Shawver brings more than 25 years of demonstrated success as a scientist, biotech leader and patient advocate to the role.

“With her range of strategic expertise, demonstrated success raising capital, scientific acumen, and broad drug development experience, Laura is the perfect fit for Silverback,” said Peter Thompson, MD, OrbiMed partner, co-founder and chairman of Silverback Therapeutics. “I, along with Silverback’s entire board, look forward to working with Laura and our exceptional leadership team to advance Silverback’s pipeline and deliver on the promise to dramatically improve the lives of patients.”

“It’s an amazing opportunity to lead a team creating a new generation of therapies that can modulate previously impossible to treat pathways. Silverback is on the verge of entering clinical development with SBT6050, which maximizes the potential for an anti-tumor immune response in tumors lacking T cells,” said Dr. Shawver. “Marrying the curative potential of IO treatment with the precision of targeted drugs is a major advancement. I look forward to marshalling the necessary resources to maximize the value of the ImmunoTAC platform for all the stakeholders.”

Most recently, Dr. Shawver was CEO and director of Synthorx, Inc. from 2017 until its acquisition by Sanofi in January 2020 for $2.5 billion. Previously, she has held positions as CEO and director of Cleave Biosciences; entrepreneur-in-residence for 5AM Ventures; CEO and director of Phenomix Corporation; and president of SUGEN Inc. She is currently a director of Relay Therapeutics, as well as board chair of Cleave Therapeutics. She is an active member of the American Association for Cancer Research, serving on the Scientific Advisory Committee for Stand Up to Cancer. Dr. Shawver knows firsthand what it is like to be a cancer patient – having survived ovarian cancer, she founded The Clearity Foundation, a nonprofit organization helping women with ovarian cancer improve their treatment options. Dr. Shawver received her Ph.D. in pharmacology and a B.S. degree in microbiology from the University of Iowa.

About Silverback Therapeutics

Silverback Therapeutics is a privately held biopharmaceutical company advancing a pipeline of therapies that are systemically delivered, but locally active and target fundamental disease pathways. Silverback’s ImmunoTAC™ technology is a targeted therapy platform designed to promote local modulation of important biologic pathways which enables innovative therapeutic approaches for oncology, virology, and fibrosis. Silverback’s lead candidate, SBT6050, is a novel immuno-oncology therapeutic comprised of a TLR8 specific agonist (a potent activator of myeloid cells) conjugated to a HER2-directed monoclonal antibody. Solid tumors, including those resistant to T cell targeted immunotherapy, are replete with myeloid cells. Activation and reprogramming of myeloid cells drives an innate immune response resulting in direct tumor killing and can also nucleate a T cell response. Successful activation of myeloid cells can lead to anti-tumor immunity, even in tumors that are resistant to immune checkpoint blockade. Clinical investigation of SBT6050 is expected to begin in 2H 2020. Silverback Therapeutics is located in Seattle, Washington. To learn more, visit


Recent Articles