Media Report


Adagene Announces Expansion of Leadership Team to Support Strategic Growth

  • Hua Gong, M.D., Ph.D., appointed Chief Operating Officer and Head of Precision Medicine
  • JC Xu, M.D., Ph.D., appointed Chief Scientific Officer
  • Qinghai Zhao, Ph.D., appointed Chief Manufacturing Officer
  • Company establishes presence in San Diego as a Center of Excellence for Precision Medicine

SAN DIEGO, Calif. and SUZHOU, China, December 2, 2020 – Adagene, Inc., a platform-driven, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with precision antibody engineering, discovery and development capabilities, today announced the expansion of its leadership team with the appointment of Hua Gong, M.D., Ph.D., as Chief Operating Officer and Head of Precision Medicine, JC Xu, M.D., Ph.D., as Chief Scientific Officer, and Qinghai Zhao, Ph.D., as Chief Manufacturing Officer. The Company also recently secured laboratory and office space in San Diego to establish a center of excellence for precision medicine and to support its growth in the United States.

“I am pleased to welcome Dr. Gong, Dr. Xu and Dr. Zhao to Adagene’s leadership team. Dr. Gong’s contributions to securing regulatory approval for seven precision oncology drugs, Dr. Xu’s extensive oncology drug discovery and translational medicine experience and Dr. Zhao’s expertise in manufacturing will be invaluable as we continue to redefine the discovery and design of novel antibodies and advance our immunotherapy clinical programs,” said Peter Luo, Ph.D., Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Adagene. “Our expansion into San Diego is indicative of Adagene’s continued global growth. We look forward to building out our team in San Diego with a focus on precision medicine and translational studies to support the acceleration of our powerful Dynamic Precision Library platform for our partners and pipeline of potential first or best-in-class therapies.”

Dr. Gong will be responsible for all aspects of Adagene’s clinical development programs. She most recently worked at Novartis Navigate Biopharma as Senior Director, Genomics Biomarker Department. There, she contributed to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of seven oncology drugs since 2013. Previously, Dr. Gong was Executive Director of IVD & CDx at Premier Research Group, where she effectively enabled oncology development programs of their pharmaceutical partners by providing precision medicine solutions. At Prometheus Therapeutics & Diagnostics, Dr. Gong was Associate Director of the Clinical Development Department, where she was responsible for overseeing multiple clinical studies. Earlier in her career, Dr. Gong worked at Pfizer for over 10 years in positions of increasing responsibility. Dr. Gong received her Ph.D. in cancer biology from Wayne State University, M.S. from Sun Yat-Sen University of Medical Sciences and M.D. from An Hui Medical University.

Dr. Xu will be responsible for Adagene’s drug discovery pipeline and translational medicine. Dr. Xu has more than 20 years of experience in oncology drug discovery and development and more than 4 years of experience in business development, strategy, and operations in the U.S. biopharmaceutical industry. She joins Adagene from Celgene (now Bristol Myers Squibb), where she was Head of China Strategy for Research and Early Development. Prior to that, Dr. Xu was Director of Strategy & Operations at Celgene Quanticel Research and Director of Biology at Quanticel Pharmaceuticals, where she was instrumental in the successful acquisition of Quanticel by Celgene. Prior to Quanticel, Dr. Xu held leadership roles with multiple biopharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, Amgen and Corixa. Dr. Xu received her Ph.D. in immunology from University of Alabama at Birmingham and M.D. from Beijing Medical University (now Peking University Health Science Center).

Dr. Zhao will be responsible for overseeing the manufacturing of Adagene’s novel antibodies. He brings over 30 years of drug development experience to Adagene. Most recently, he served as Vice President of Technical Development and Manufacturing at Forty Seven Inc., an immunology company acquired by Gilead in early 2020. He was responsible for CMC development and clinical supply management for a number of programs, including magrolimab. Prior to Forty Seven, Dr. Zhao was Vice President of CMC and Manufacturing at AnaptysBio, Head of CMC at NGM Bio and Director of CMC Management at Teva Biopharmaceuticals USA. In his early career in China, he served as Head of Plasma Protein Therapeutics R/D at Shanghai Institute of Biological Products. Dr. Zhao earned his Ph.D. in life sciences from Uppsala University, M.S. in biochemistry from Fudan University (Shanghai Medical University) and B.E. in biochemistry from East China University of Science and Technology.

About Adagene

Adagene, Inc. is a platform-driven, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to transforming the discovery and development of novel antibody-based cancer immunotherapies. Adagene combines computational biology and artificial intelligence to design novel antibodies that address unmet patient needs. Its proprietary pipeline is comprised of novel immunotherapy programs. Adagene has forged strategic collaborations with reputable global partners that leverage its technology in multiple approaches at the vanguard of science.

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