HAYA Therapeutics Adds World-Leading Cardiologist and Dark Genome Pioneer to Advisory Boards

February 16, 2023

Ahmad Masri, Director, of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center at Oregon Health & Science University, joins Clinical Advisory Board

Cedric Feschotte, Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Cornell University, joins Scientific Advisory Board

LAUSANNE, Switzerland and SAN DIEGO Feb 16, 2023 – HAYA Therapeutics, SA, a company developing RNA-guided programmable precision medicines focused on long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), today announced that Ahmad Masri, M.D., M.S. and Cedric Feschotte, Ph.D. are joining HAYA’s advisory boards.

“The expansion of our advisors with Ahmad and Cedric, and the creation of our Clinical Advisory Board marks a significant milestone for HAYA,” said Samir Ounzain, Ph.D., Co-founder and CEO of HAYA Therapeutics. “Our mission is to bring the next generation of RNA-focused, disease-modifying precision medicines to patients, and our advisory boards will help guide IND-enabling studies as we begin to prepare to enter the clinic and further develop our dark genome platform for disease-driving cell-state targeting.”

As the newest member of HAYA’s Clinical Advisory Board (CAB), Dr. Masri is a Cardiologist and a Physician Scientist at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Knight Cardiovascular Institute where he leads the Cardiomyopathy Section and is the Director of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, School of Medicine at OHSU. Dr. Masri is an expert in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and amyloidosis. In addition to providing highly specialized and multidisciplinary clinical care, Dr. Masri oversees a research team focused on translational, imaging and clinical research, including participating in or leading many of the contemporary clinical trials, in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and amyloidosis. Dr. Masri holds an M.D. from the Jordan University of Science and Technology and an M.S. from the University of Pittsburg.

“The team at HAYA has made significant progress in advancing their lead therapeutic candidate and identifying novel opportunities with their drug discovery platform,” said Dr. Masri. “I’m excited to support the impressive HAYA team as they take the next steps toward delivering a novel therapeutic to patients with serious cardiac conditions associated with cardiac fibrosis, including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.” 

Members of CAB:

  • Erick Schelbert, M.D., M.S.
  • Christopher Miller, B.Sc. (Hons), MBChB (Hons), Ph.D., FRCP 
  • Ahmad Masri, M.D., M.S.

Additionally, Dr. Feschotte will join HAYA’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). With over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications, Dr. Feschotte is an expert in mobile genetic elements and the dark genome, combining various research techniques, including functional and computational genomics, biochemistry and genetics. His research focuses on transposable element mechanisms, the biological significance of endogenous viruses and how mobile DNA plays a role in health and fitness. Dr. Feschotte is a Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Cornell University. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. from Université Pierre & Marie Curie.

“It is clear that the dark genome and the non-coding RNAs it produces play a substantial role in the onset and progression of diseases -- from cardiovascular disease to cancer,” said Dr. Feschotte. “HAYA has pioneered a novel approach of targeting disease drivers within the dark genome, and I’m looking forward to working with their team in identifying and understanding relevant clinically-translatable dark genome targets.”

Members of SAB:

  • John Rinn, Ph.D.
  • Sudhir Agrawal, D.Phil, FRSC 
  • Cedric Feschotte, Ph.D.

‍About HAYA Therapeutics

HAYA Therapeutics is a precision medicines company developing RNA-guided programmable therapeutics targeting the regulatory genome for serious health conditions including cardiovascular disease and cancer. The company is using its innovative cell-state modifying platform to gain novel insights into the biology of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), the dark genomes’ information processing features and source code. HAYA’s lead therapeutic candidate is HTX-001, an antisense oligonucleotide targeting Wisper, which is a tissue and cell-specific cardiac lncRNA known to play a role in heart failure. The company is also developing a pipeline of lncRNA-targeting candidates for the cell-specific treatment of diseases in other tissues, including the lungs and the microenvironment of solid tumor cancers. 

Headquartered at the life sciences park Biopôle in Lausanne, Switzerland with laboratory facilities at JLABS @ San Diego, HAYA is led by a world-class team of experts in programmable and precision RNA-targeted therapeutics and is supported by a strong investor consortium. HAYA’s mission is to identify and develop breakthrough disease-modifying therapeutics with the potential for greater efficacy, safety, and accessibility than existing treatments. For more information on the company, please visit our website at www.hayatx.com. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Media Contact:

Tim Ingersoll


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