Recent advances in science and technology have resulted in a new era of more targeted therapies for many diseases. These advances have materialized for patients, resulting is some truly transformative treatments, thanks to the talent and dedication of the life sciences community.
Meet one such life-science leader who has developed and commercialized six lifesaving paradigm-changing blockbuster medicines in cancer, ultra-rare disorders, and inflammation, and who has built four entrepreneurial organizations that created a major impact for both patients and investors. – Thomas A. Bock, MD, MBA, and CEO at Notable.
Inspired by his work, we at Insights Success had a conversation with Thomas to know more about his journey and how Notable is transforming the way cancer is treated.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Give us a brief overview of your position at the company, and your journey since inception.
I joined Notable as an Independent Board Director in 2020 and then started serving as the CEO in February 2021. At that time our company was known for our predictive technology platform developed to help physicians determine which cancer treatments are most effective for their individual patients.
Today, we are beginning to leverage Notable’s leadership in predictive technology to develop cancer treatments focused on individual patients who we know will respond to a specific treatment. My role is to drive our organization to a leading precision therapeutics company by creating a new class of precision medicines – predictive precision medicines.
Please describe the technology that makes your company standout from the competition.
Notable’s predictive technology combines machine learning, laboratory automation, and high throughput screening directly on patient blood samples to predict responses to therapies with a 92% accuracy. Over the past years, we created a unique and continuously growing library of optimized (out of millions of options) platform conditions and predictive data across approved and investigational cancer treatments. This enables us to focus on the most promising candidate medicines and develop them as predictive precision medicines solely in clinically responding patients. Patient by patient. Cancer by cancer.
What is your opinion on the advancements of businesses to improve their offerings with newer technological developments?
Notable represents the next generation of predictive precision medicines for patients with cancer, based on the emergence of new technology. Our platform can predict an individual’s clinical response to cancer treatment from a blood sample taken before beginning treatment with a 92% accuracy. I am proud of how our proprietary technology addresses the question that matters most to patients, yet previously could not be answered: “Doctor, will this treatment work for me?”
What is your thought on the necessity of a positive work culture? In what ways do you implement it at your organization?
Notable’s culture extends from its core mission of redefining treatment for people with cancer. For us, the patient matters most. This means that we not only pursue transformative medical impact but also, proceed responsibly and with the sense of urgency that patients deserve. Our team is spearheading therapeutic solutions at the interface of therapeutics, diagnostics, and engineering.
Scientists, engineers, and experts from many fields work together closely and also build off of the insights and ideas from each other. They work hand in hand, peer to peer in a unique and collaborative approach. Leading this patient focused and integrative culture is key to an innovative environment, and I believe it is because of this that we have been able to recruit and retain top talent across industries.
In what ways have you or your company contributed to the community? If given a chance, what change would you bring in creating a “community of healthy business”?
Today, most cancer treatments deliver only modest clinical response rates and fail for the majority of patients, exposing them to ineffective therapies and unnecessary side effects and toxicities. Notable’s mission of delivering predictive precision medicine that works for each cancer patient, and reducing unnecessary side effects, makes an important impact for the community. These types of advances will revolutionize treatment for people with cancer.
What is the best way to meet today’s/tomorrow’s challenges with your company’s exceptional products and services for urgent needs coming our way?
In order to create the stream of predictive medicines that patients can rely on with the urgency they deserve, it is critical that we continue to collaborate with industry partners and academia. Having developed and commercialized medicines for cancer and rare diseases for more than twenty years, I know that many medicines can deliver a huge medical impact but unfortunately only for a small subpopulation of the patients who receive them. We have created a platform that reproduces the human cancer cell microenvironment that can be used to test cancer therapies, patient by patient, with a 92% accuracy, before they receive treatment. Thanks to our platform and its prediction accuracy (as reported by Stanford University*), we can now engage with prospective partners to co-develop and license such transformative medicines solely focused on responding patients. Patients can be confident that their treatment will work for them, and our life sciences partners benefit from a faster development speed and a higher likelihood of success.
*Source: Michael A. Spinner, …, Peter L. Greenberg; Ex vivo drug screening defines novel drug sensitivity patterns for informing personalized therapy in myeloid neoplasms. Blood Adv 2020; 4 (12): 2768–2778.
As an established CEO, what would be your advice to the budding entrepreneurs aspiring to venture into the industry?
Be able to pivot quickly to take advantage of emerging opportunities, expect bumps and detours along the way, and most importantly, stay true to your core values. When you develop products for patients, proceed with extra urgency and care.
How do you envision sustaining your company’s competency in a cutthroat and volatile world of Security? Where do you see yourself and the company in the next five years?
Part of our integrative culture is to be externally focused and equally seize opportunities and address challenges with the best possible approaches. Challenges make us stronger and will expedite our vision of delivering a stream of predictive precision medicine and redefining the standard of care, always ensuring the best possible outcomes for patients. Patient by patient. Disease by disease.