It was the first and only time I cried at a demo day. I first met Pete in the lobby of the Computer History Museum as he and his co-founder Matt prepared to go on stage at YC Demo Day in March of 2015. As he started to explain their vision for using data to cure cancer, I was overcome with emotion; I took his business card and we followed up over email.
The specific cancer that the Notable Labs team set out to fight is called glioblastoma, a nasty form of brain cancer that affects 20,000 per year and has a median survival rate for adults of two to three years. While working at a hedge fund, Matt's father was diagnosed with glio, and he left shortly after to start Notable because he was determined to see if he could use data to find a cure. By taking samples of tumors and testing them against 1000s of combinations of FDA approved drugs, he and Pete hoped to find the exact cocktail of medicines to stop the cancer's growth. They were developing a platform for personalized medicine.
I was passionate about this because my wife's close friend had a similar form of glio, and her physician, Dr. Gregory Foltz, helped develop a similar form of personalized treatment at the Swedish Brain Cancer Institute. I happened to meet Dr. Foltz at a dinner three years prior and was inspired by his story of giving up his dream of becoming a concert pianist to fight this disease after his friend's daughter passed away.
We don't usually invest in health care related companies: the regulatory environment makes finding a viable business model challenging and we don't have the clinical expertise to evaluate or help companies with drug development.
But venture capital investing is a business of exceptions, and the stars aligned around Notable Labs. We had to get involved. Matt and Pete are building an exceptional company. Notable's custom robotic platform now handles every aspect of the testing process. The platform is helping oncologists identify promising treatment options for cancer patients by testing thousands of combinations of FDA-approved drugs against an individual's tumor cells and providing results to their physician. They are making incredible inroads in the fight against cancer.
We are proud to be investors in Notable Labs and partners with Matt and Pete.