After a tough year, VBL merges with Notable Labs

After a rocky 2022 for VBL Therapeutics, the biotech is merging with Notable Labs, a cancer-focused platform company that just pulled in $10.3 million from investors.  

The merger, which is set to close in the second quarter of this year, will form a clinical-stage company that will list shares on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol NTBL, according to a Thursday release. Notable’s stockholders are expected to own about 76% of the new company and VBL shareholders will own 24%.

Alongside the merger, investors have committed $10.3 million in a private placement to Notable, led by existing stockholders Builders VC, B Capital Group, Y Combinator, First Round Capital and Founders Fund. The money is expected to fund the merged company into 2025.

The agreement has been approved by the boards of each company and now must receive approval from stockholders.

If approved, the new company will advance Notable’s predictive precision medicines platform and cancer-focused pipeline, which includes lead asset volasertib. The polo-like kinase 1 (PLK-1) inhibitor is currently being assessed in a phase 2a trial of adults with acute myeloid leukemia. Results are expected in the third quarter of next year. The PLK-1 inhibitor is also being tested in phase 1 trials in pediatric patients with leukemia and adults with solid tumors.

The combined company will be led by Notable’s team and guided by a seven-member board of directors, one of whom will be designated by VBL Therapeutics.

The writing was on the wall for VBL after its viral therapy to treat cancer flunked a phase 3 trial last year. After the flop, investors sprinted towards the exit, cratering the company’s already-low share price. A few weeks later, the biotech laid off 35% of staff, or roughly 14 employees. Additionally, three of the company’s board members resigned.


“Following an extensive process to identify the best possible partner, we are very encouraged to have arrived at this proposed merger with Notable,” VBL CEO Dror Harats, M.D., said in the release. “The caliber and track record of Notable’s management and their deep industry experience further adds to our excitement about developing volasertib with Notable’s predictive platform technology to create value for our shareholders.”