Notable Labs: Accelerating Blood Cancer Treatment Options
May 14, 2020 | Scott Murphy
When his father was diagnosed with stage IV brain cancer, Matt De Silva was devastated by the prognosis and frustrated with ineffective standard treatment options. He set out to find a solution and inadvertently discovered extensive research being conducted for non-brain cancer drugs that might serve as potential treatments for his father.
However, Matt realized he had no way of knowing if any of these treatments could help his father. As Matt continued to connect with other patients, caregivers, and the scientific and medical communities, it soon became clear that Matt’s family’s struggle to navigate treatment options was not unique. This inspired Matt to find a solution and the idea for Notable Labs was created.
De Silva founded Notable, an AVG portfolio company from the Castor Ventures fund for the MIT community, to more quickly and affordably identify effective therapeutics for cancers. Notable is currently developing a drug development platform built on a clinically-validated approach, with an initial focus on treatments for blood cancer.
Actionable Treatments for Patients
Notable works with oncologists to identify actionable treatment options for people with blood cancers, including combinations of FDA-approved treatments that can be immediately prescribed by a doctor. This process enables the company to discover novel uses of drugs and the defining mechanisms underlying development of cancer progression and drug resistance, enabling patients to identify personalized cancer treatment options to cure their diseases.
The company’s proprietary technology is unique in predicting the success of clinical trials, with 84% accuracy demonstrated in collaboration with Stanford. Using blood cancer patient samples, Notable can accurately predict the efficacy of new drugs, identify novel combinations, and stratify patients into subgroups, dramatically increasing a clinical trial’s probability of success.
Notable has also accounted for the risk of the drug development industry by developing a novel platform for clinical trials. By taking this approach, the company can acquire the IP of a variety of drugs, rather than concentrating bets on a specific compound, therapy, or device.
Sadly, Matt De Silva’s father Marc passed away in February of 2015 before Notable could help identify treatment options for him. However, the Notable team works every day in honor of, and inspired by, Marc and all those who are affected by cancer.
How We’re Involved
AVG is compelled by Notable’s cutting-edge technology, mission-driven team, and market potential. The discovery of combination therapies is relevant to a wide array of pharmaceutical companies, clinical trial providers, and other potential acquirers, providing significant room for Notable to scale its platform.
These assets have also attracted established investors and key strategic partners B Capital Group and LifeForce Capital, who co-led Notable’s $40 million Series B round. B Capital was founded by Facebook Co-Founder Eduardo Saverin, and industry legend Howard Morgan serves as the firm’s Chairman. LifeForce maintains a thesis-driven investment philosophy focused on software-driven innovation in digital health.
Castor Ventures, AVG’s fund for MIT alumni and friends, was introduced to Notable’s team by an investor who served on the company’s board of directors. AVG’s Westwood Ventures (for the UCLA community) and Total Access Fund joined Castor in deploying capital for the Series B round.