Quark Pharmaceutical's QPI-1007 Exhibits Neuroprotective Effects in Glaucoma Model
FREMONT, Calif., June 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Quark Pharmaceuticals,
Inc., a world leader in the discovery and development of RNAi-based
therapeutics, today announced results from a second study of
QPI-1007, a neuroprotective siRNA drug, in rat ocular hypertension
model of glaucoma, conducted by Prof. Adriana Di Polo of the
Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Universite de Montreal.
Prof. Di Polo's recent study in a rat model of glaucoma shows that
QPI-1007, when given in two intravitreal injections after induction
of ocular hypertension (at two weeks and 10 days later), can
deliver a sustained neuroprotective effect, as measured by a
significant attenuation in RGC death five weeks after disease
induction. Ocular neuroprotection, encompassing prevention of
retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death, represents a novel approach for
treating glaucoma, non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy
(NAION), and other ocular diseases.
These results support the further evaluation of QPI-1007 as a
potential novel treatment for glaucoma.
Dr. Daniel Zurr, Quark's Chief Executive Officer, stated, "These
findings suggest that QPI-1007 delivers a sustained therapeutic
effect against RGC death. These results support our novel approach
to neuroprotection and, together with our IP position, have the
potential to strongly differentiate QPI-1007 from other glaucoma
treatments in the market and clinic. In addition, these results
support the study of QPI-1007 in other retinal diseases, such as
the ongoing Phase I clinical trial in NAION."
Prof. Di Polo commented: "We are encouraged by additional
QPI-1007 data that further confirm protection of retinal ganglion
cells in experimental glaucoma. Therapeutic effect was observed at
five-weeks post-induction of ocular hypertension when the drug was
administered at two weeks after the initial insult, and long after
RGC loss has commenced. The rat ocular hypertension model is a
highly relevant model of prevalent forms of human glaucoma because
in both cases RGC loss is likely to result from axonal injury
caused by elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). Given these
similarities, we believe that further study of QPI-1007 is
warranted in glaucoma."
In addition to sustained neuroprotective effects in the rat
glaucoma model, QPI-1007 has demonstrated robust efficacy when
administered immediately after optic nerve injury in two models of
acute RGC death induced by optic nerve transection (using crush or
axotomy). QPI-1007 utilizes a proprietary structure and
modifications that is designed to preserve RNAi activity while
ameliorating potential off-target and immunostimulatory effects of
siRNAs. A Phase I clinical trial of QPI-1007 is currently underway
in Non-arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy (NAION).
QPI-1007 is Quark's first synthetic siRNA drug candidate with
proprietary structure and chemical modifications, providing the
Company freedom to operate in the siRNA IP space. QPI-1007 is
designed as nuclease stable molecule possessing high specific RNAi
activity while lacking potential off-target and immunostimulatory
About Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the world leader in novel RNAi
discovery and development, has the largest clinical-stage siRNA
pipeline in the industry. The Company's fully integrated drug
development platform spans therapeutic target identification to
drug development. Quark's approach to delivery allows targeting of
tissues and organs including the eye, kidney, ear, lung, spinal
cord and brain.
Quark's pipeline is led by PF-655, currently in two Phase II
clinical trials for the treatment of wet age-related macular
degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME). In 2006 the
siRNA therapeutic candidate was licensed to Pfizer, who is
conducting both trials in collaboration with Quark. PF-655 targets
Quark's proprietary gene, RTP801, discovered using its BiFAR(TM)
target discovery platform that identifies clinically relevant
critical genes and proteins that reverse the disease phenotype when
inhibited. The Company owns a family of patents covering the RTP801
gene, its RNA and protein product sequences, specific antibodies,
and gene inhibition across different pathologies.
Quark is also evaluating QPI-1002, the first systemically
administered siRNA drug in human clinical trials. Enrollment was
successfully completed in Phase I studies of QPI-1002 for the
prevention of acute kidney injury (AKI) following major
cardiovascular surgery and the prophylaxis of delayed graft
function (DGF) after kidney transplantation and Phase II clinical
studies are planned to commence shortly. For the structure of these
products, Quark has obtained licenses from Silence Therapeutics and
from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.
Quark is currently conducting clinical trials of QPI-1007, its
proprietary synthetic siRNA drug candidate for ocular
neuroprotection. QPI-1007 utilizes a proprietary structure
developed in collaboration with BioSpring GmbH that provides Quark
with freedom to operate in the siRNA intellectual property arena
and chemical modifications that are designed to preserve RNAi
activity while ameliorating potential off-target and
immunostimulatory effects of siRNAs.
Quark is also committed to leveraging a broad research pipeline
of siRNA drug candidates and novel siRNA structures to develop
additional RNAi drug candidates.
Quark is headquartered in Fremont, California and operates
research and development facilities in Boulder, Colorado and
Ness-Ziona, Israel. Additional information is available at
Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The Ruth Group (investors / media) Juliana Friedman Sara Pellegrino / Jason Rando +972 89 30 5111 (646) 536-7002 / 7033 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org -----------------------
media) for Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc.: Sara Pellegrino,
email@example.com, or Jason Rando, +1-646-536-7033,
First Call Analyst:
Source: Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
CONTACT: Juliana Friedman of Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc.,
+972-89-30-5111, firstname.lastname@example.org; or The Ruth Group (investors
Web Site: http://www.quarkpharma.com/
Posted: June 2010