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Myriad Genetics Turns to Quest Diagnostics for New Legal Chief

Oct. 18, 2021, 9:33 PM

Myriad Genetics, Inc., has hired former Quest Diagnostics Inc. assistant general counsel Pamela Wong as its new chief legal officer.

Wong joins the Salt Lake City, Utah-based genetic testing company after 14 years with Quest, according to a Monday statement. She will oversee matters such as patent protection, regulatory and quality assurance, and government affairs.

“One of the things that drew me to Myriad Genetics is the company’s focus on fulfilling its mission of advancing the health and well-being for all—empowering every individual with the life-changing power of genetic insights,” Wong told Bloomberg Law in an email.

Founded in 1991, Myriad’s diagnostic tests aim to help people assess their risk of developing specific diseases in order to prevent or delay them, according to the company’s website. The company offers tests for reproductive health, mental health, cancers, and other diseases. It reported a profit of $9.5 million for the quarter ending June 30 compared to a loss of $23.4 million the same quarter last year.

“As we continue our transformation and growth plan, [Wong] will play an instrumental role in steering our legal strategy with integrity, operational excellence and legal pragmatism,” Myriad president and CEO Paul Diaz said in the statement. “We are fortunate to have a talented legal professional of her caliber as the latest addition to the Myriad Genetics executive team.”

Before her time with Quest Diagnostics, Wong was an intellectual property partner at Baker McKenzie, and she started her career with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.

In August, an investor sued Myriad’s current and former leaders, including founding team member and Nobel Prize-winning chemist Walter Gilbert. The investor alleged that the company overstated earnings and clinical trial results to sell millions of dollars of stock at inflated prices and that certain defendants engaged in insider trading. The case is ongoing.

Other defendants include ex-CEO Mark Capone and chief financial officer Bryan Riggsbee. Wong said the company does not comment on ongoing litigation.

Wong’s previous employer Quest Diagnostics has seen an increase in demand for direct-to-consumer testing during the Covid-19 pandemic. As telehealth and remote healthcare became more popular, so too did mail order diagnostic tests for illnesses ranging from coronavirus to colorectal cancer, the company told investors in March.

“The fields of diagnostics, genetic testing and precision medicine are constantly changing and overlapping,” Wong said. “The consumerization of health, the role of data and analytics, increasing health equity and reducing disparities in healthcare delivery, commercial and scientific innovation—all of these are transformative trends that are accelerating.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Ruiqi Chen in Washington, D.C. at rchen@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com

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