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Notable Labs Licenses Blood Cancer Drug Volasertib from Oncoheroes, Plans Clinical Trials

NEW YORK – Notable Labs on Thursday said it has licensed the PLK-1 inhibitor volasertib from Oncoheroes Biosciences, and that it plans to use its predictive precision medicine platform to identify cancer patients likely to respond to the drug.

Foster City, California-based Notable paid an undisclosed amount for exclusive rights to develop and commercialize volasertib as a treatment for leukemia, lymphoma, or other adult cancers. Oncoheroes, meanwhile, will hold onto the rights to develop the drug for other pediatric cancers.

Notable will use its predictive platform, which uses high-throughput flow cytometry, advanced automation, and streamlined analysis, to create a profile of the type of patient most likely to respond to volasertib. The firm will then launch Phase II and Phase III clinical trials exploring the drug's activity in this patient population.

The drug has previously demonstrated efficacy in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and other cancers with high unmet need. That said, in 2016, when Boehringer Ingelheim evaluated the drug in a Phase III AML trial that took an all-comer enrollment approach, the study failed to meet its primary endpoint. Notable hopes to have better luck by homing in on patient groups likely to respond to the drug using its platform.

"We targeted and licensed volasertib because of its compelling performance on our predictive precision medicine platform and as an important addition to our growing clinical pipeline," Notable CEO Thomas Bock said in a statement. "With the power of our high-fidelity prediction platform, volasertib represents just one of many compelling opportunities to match highly promising clinical candidates with the optimal patient population."

In a prior study, the platform demonstrated the ability to predict myelodysplastic syndrome patients' treatment responses to 74 drugs and 36 drug combinations with 92 percent accuracy.