Notable Labs nets $10M for personalized cancer treatment tech

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Notable Labs tests drug combinations directly on patients' cancer cells to identify the best treatment options.

Notable Labs picked up $10 million in series A financing to advance its drug-testing service that helps oncologists identify the most appropriate combination of drugs for individuals with blood cancers.

CEO Matthew De Silva co-founded Notable after his father was diagnosed with brain cancer and then faced a lack of effective treatment options. “We wanted to try to fight, but didn’t have any treatment options available to us that were compelling,” De Silva said.

While it originally focused on brain cancer, the San Francisco-based startup turned to blood cancers, specifically acute myeloid leukemia and the bone marrow failure disorder, myelodysplastic syndrome. It plans to expand into other blood cancers before going into solid tumors.

Notable’s service involves collecting a blood sample or bone marrow aspirate from a patient and testing individual drugs and combinations on the patient’s cancer cells, as well as their healthy white blood cells, De Silva said. The company comes up with a report of the results, which an oncologist will use to guide treatment decisions for the patient.

“Notable’s purpose is to change the way cancer is treated. Our whole team lives and breathes this mission of developing cancer solutions that are personalized, and that can make an immediate positive impact on patients’ lives … We’re working closely with forward-thinking oncologists and researchers at top U.S. and Canadian cancer centers to make personalized combination treatment a reality,” he said in a statement.

The company is taking a functional rather than genomic approach to personalized therapy—instead of sequencing the genome of a tumor, Notable tests combinations directly on the patient’s cancer cells to find the best treatment.

Since its founding in 2014, Notable has expanded its team and is continuing to invest in automating the analysis of its drug testing. The company is using deep learning to accelerate this analysis so it can give doctors the results as close to real time as possible, De Silva said. The new funding will go toward building out its technology and to bankroll a number of clinical feasibility studies in blood cancers.