Press release

Former AstraZeneca Personalized Healthcare Strategy Leader Named Senior Vice President of Companion Diagnostics at DiaCarta

May 13, 2021 | Press Releases

Richmond, California, May 13, 2021.

DiaCarta Inc., a precision molecular diagnostics company and leading developer of novel oncology tests using liquid biopsy, today announced the appointment of Hongjun “Harry” Yang, Ph.D., former Executive Personalized Healthcare Strategy Leader at AstraZeneca, as Senior Vice President of Companion Diagnostics (CDx) at DiaCarta.

Dr. Yang will lead the companion diagnostics team at DiaCarta where he will be instrumental in incorporating the XNA technology platform into the next generation treatment complementary companion diagnostics. At his previous role, Dr. Yang oversaw precision medicine programs at AstraZeneca, including the late clinical development and product launches of revolutionary anti-cancer drugs. 

“Dr. Yang has followed DiaCarta’s clinical progress for years, and we are excited to have him lead our CDx programs. We look forward to strengthening our relationships with key opinion leaders and pharmaceutical companies who can benefit from DiaCarta’s technologies,” said Aiguo Zhang, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of DiaCarta.

Dr. Yang will present a webinar entitled “Precision Medicine for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer,” providing an overview on lung cancer treatments to the audience Fighting Lung Cancer Online Forum, a WeChat group primarily consisting of physicians, on Saturday, May 15, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. PDT. This online forum is sponsored by the China Anti-Cancer Association (CACA).  Dr. Yang’s presentation will focus on how the field of personalized medicine has evolved over time and developed with the help of companion diagnostics. In recent years, companion diagnostics have helped in identification and assessment of mutations affecting every individual patient, thereby aiding the prescription of the appropriate dose of a personalized therapy. Diagnostics assess the mutant affecting an individual patient so the appropriate personalized therapeutic can be confidently prescribed. The webinar will be accessible on Zoom via the Meeting ID: 982 501 2641 and the password of 2021.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to present to thousands of specialists across the globe in the lung cancer space. Significant progress has been made in the field, and we look forward to tracking the latest advancements as pharmaceutical companies progress promising targeted therapeutics through the clinical regulatory process. The recent clinical success of three companies on anti-KRAS drugs is promising. Companion diagnostics, such as the technologies developed by DiaCarta, are critical in the successful implementation of these treatments,” said Dr. Yang.   

About DiaCarta Inc.
DiaCarta is a molecular diagnostics company that has developed innovative technologies that transform patient care by providing effective precision diagnostics using liquid biopsy. In addition to its FDA EUA approved QuantiVirus™ SARS-CoV-2 Tests, DiaCarta offers a range of testing services, from single-gene QClamp® qPCR tests to its OptiSeq™ XNA-NGS panels. The company is well positioned as a leader in the new ‘liquid biopsy’ In Vitro Diagnostics field with high-precision detection of ctDNA. Its novel XNA technology provides high level of sensitivity as it clamps the wild-type sequence and amplifies the mutant target sequence. Using this technology, the company has developed its highly sensitive, early detection ColoScape™ Colorectal Cancer test using blood. Powered by its SuperbDNA™ technology that provides high level of detection by amplifying the signal and requiring no RNA/DNA extraction or amplification, the company has developed its revolutionary RadTox™ test that personalizes radiation therapy, mitigates adverse events, and enhances patient care. Based in Richmond, California the company is ISO certified, GMP-compliant and offers CLIA certified laboratory services to its customers. 

Richard Brand, CFO, DiaCarta

Olipriya Das, Ph.D., Russo Partners

Lead Source

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DiaCarta to Become a Publicly Listed Company Through Merger with HH&L Acquisition Co.

DiaCarta, Ltd., a precision molecular diagnostics company and developer of novel oncology and infectious disease tests, and HH&L Acquisition Co. (NYSE: HHLA.U, HHLA, HHLA WS) (“HH&L”), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (“SPAC”), today announced that they entered into a definitive business combination agreement (the “Business Combination Agreement”) that is expected to result in DiaCarta becoming a publicly listed company (the “Transaction” or “Business Combination”). The Transaction is expected to provide DiaCarta with access to the approximately $414 million cash from HH&L’s IPO proceeds held in trust, assuming no redemptions by HH&L’s shareholders and prior to the payment of transaction expenses, and potential additional financing to catalyze DiaCarta’s growth. The Transaction implies a pre-money equity value of $460 million for DiaCarta on a fully diluted basis and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023. The Transaction positions DiaCarta to capitalize on significant future growth within existing and new markets.