Matthew De Silva
CEO and Co-founder
An Outsider’s Big Impact
In 2013, Matthew De Silva and his family received devastating news. His father was diagnosed with Glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive form of brain cancer. With very few treatment options for this cancer, Matthew’s father was told he had only three to six months to live. That led Matthew, at the time a hedge fund manager, to pivot to science and biotech.
As an industry outsider, Matthew’s perspective, coupled with this heartbreaking predicament, enabled him to think of solutions that no one had yet explored. While researching treatment options for his father, he came up with the idea to use the known molecular structures of FDA-approved drugs to predict which combinations would be effective in fighting aggressive tumor mutations. Though doctors and patients were open to the idea, they lacked the data and technological support to use this approach.
With the help of friend and co-founder Pete Quinzio, Matthew launched Notable Labs in 2014 to change the way cancer is treated—by putting patients first. Matthew knew that fighting cancer is fighting a ticking clock; every minute matters because tumors mutate, grow, and drugs that currently work may be ineffective in future treatments. And he knew that advanced technology could be key to winning that battle.
Using predictive analytics, an automated workcell, and dynamic scheduling (a specialized software), Notable Labs now screens thousands of combinations of FDA-approved drugs against a patient’s own cancer cells, and the technology helps identify drug combinations for each patient. And by repositioning treatment as a patient-centered service, the company aims to achieve the promise of combination therapy and personalized medicine. Now, screening that once took a day to complete takes less than 30 seconds—a remarkable, transformational achievement.
Sadly, Matthew’s father passed away in 2015—and Matthew became even more determined to provide better treatment options for those affected by unique and aggressive forms of cancer. Recently honored as a member of the Forbes “30 Under 30” 2017 class, Matthew is already recognized as a leader and innovator in his field, and is sure to leverage his unique talents and perspective to continue improving the healthcare for everyone.