Press release

DiaCarta Receives NCI Contract for a Circulating Free DNA (cfDNA) Test to Monitor Radiation Response in Cancer Patients

Oct 26, 2016 | Press Releases

California-based molecular diagnostics company DiaCarta, Inc., has received a SBIR contract from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This contract will fund a collaborative program between DiaCarta and University of Florida Health Cancer Center to convert RadTox QuantiDNATM into a cutting-edge test that monitors radiation response in cancer patients.

DiaCarta, which has clinical laboratory sites located in the San Francisco Bay area and Nanjing, China, has developed and commercialized a suite of highly sensitive and specific technologies and products for the detection and quantitation of nucleic acids directly from bodily fluids without DNA purification. With support from the NCI, DiaCarta will employ its QuantiDNATM to monitor circulating free DNA (cfDNA), a patented DNA biomarker, directly from patient plasma during radiation therapy. Currently, there exists no reliable methodology for determining radiation response during radiotherapy. Utilizing blood specimens from patients undergoing radiotherapy for prostate cancer at the UF Davis Cancer Center and the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute, DiaCarta will fully validate their current RadTox QuantiDNATM product as a laboratory developed test (LDT) and pursue regulatory approval for global distribution.

“This will be a breakthrough ‘first-in-class’ IVD test in the field of radiation therapy and the first cfDNA test to be supported by the NCI for real-time detection of tumor and normal tissue responses to radiation. It is a significant milestone in the field of patient monitoring of radiation therapy response,” said Aiguo Zhang, PhD, CEO of DiaCarta. “Radiation treatment is required by 70% of cancer patients,” he said. “However, despite decades of advances in cancer care and technology, there remain many fundamental challenges affecting safe and efficacious delivery of radiation treatment. Our QuantiDNATM test has the potential to overcome these challenges.”

“We are fulfilling an unmet medical need in cancer radiation therapy by enabling the direct monitoring of side effect severity and tumor response within days of treatment initiation,” said Paul Okunieff, MD, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the UFHCC. “This NCI-supported contract puts us in a powerful position to begin development of quantitative and personalized ‘liquid biopsies.’ It is a very exciting opportunity for the UF Department of Radiation Oncology and the Okunieff Lab to make a real difference in the quality and safety of care for individual cancer patients.”

“DiaCarta is committed to precision medicine with our strong expertise in biomarker discovery and breakthrough technologies. RadTox QuantiDNATM has the potential to make personalized medicine in radiation oncology a reality. We are very excited to collaborate with the UFHCC, one of the largest cancer centers in the U.S., to validate the novel test and potentially increase the quality and safety of radiation therapy for its patients,” said Dr. Zhang.

Lead Source

DiaCarta Receives U.S. FDA Emergency Use Authorization for its Monkeypox Test Kit

DiaCarta, Ltd. (“DiaCarta”), a precision molecular diagnostics company, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its QuantiVirus™ MPXV test, which is a PCR test for the qualitative detection of DNA from monkeypox virus (MPXV) in lesion swabs collected from individuals suspected of monkeypox infection.

DiaCarta Announces Successful Completion of Oncuria® Validation Study with Nonagen Bioscience

DiaCarta, Ltd. (“DiaCarta”), a precision molecular diagnostics company, and Nonagen Bioscience Corporation (“Nonagen”), a cancer diagnostics company, today announced the successful completion of the validation study of Oncuria® multiplex bladder cancer immunoassay as a laboratory developed test (“LDT”). DiaCarta also announced that it has begun receiving patient urine samples for testing in its CLIA certified lab in Pleasanton, California.

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.

DiaCarta Expands Board Leadership with Industry Veteran

DiaCarta Inc., a precision molecular diagnostics company and leading developer of novel oncology tests using liquid biopsy, today announced the appointment of Jack Kaye, retired Partner with Deloitte LLP, as an independent board member who will serve as the Chairman of the Company’s Audit Committee.

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