Startups, Venture Capital

Facebook billionaires Peter Thiel and Sean Parker backing a stealth immunotherapy biotech — report

Sean Parker Credit: Shutterstock

Seeing any billionaire back a biotech startup is always intriguing. But when you pair Peter Thiel and Sean Parker as the deep pockets behind a new T cell company, tongues will wag.

CNBC’s Christina Farr has started the buzz, saying the fabulously wealthy Facebook amigos have chipped in to a $12 million seed round for one 3T Biosciences. Quoting sources, Farr says 3T is working with scientists at the lab of Stanford’s Christopher Garcia. And they are working on cancer immunotherapies, the hottest field in the R&D arena these days.

Garcia — a high profile investigator — has been working on Wnt, noting that an excess of activity triggers cancer. Earlier this year a startup dubbed Surrozen was ramped up, examining the regenerative med aspects of that research.

That’s about all we know at this point.

It’s not unusual to keep biotechs under wraps until they get through their seed phase, looking to establish a clear clinical path before they leap into public view. Thiel, meanwhile, has a well known appetite for the drug development world, once fielding candidates for the FDA’s top job after backing Donald Trump for the presidency.

Parker also has become a high profile player, but on the charitable side of the R&D game. His eponymous nonprofit institute has been backing a variety of cutting-edge technologies in cancer research. But like Bill Gates, who occasionally invests in biotechs alongside his own foundation, the potential for some of these plays can be too big for even a billionaire to ignore.



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