Quark Pharmaceuticals Development Partner Pfizer Presents inVivo Activity of PF-04523655 at ARVO
FREMONT, Calif., May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Quark Pharmaceuticals,
Inc., the world leader in clinical development of RNAi-based
therapeutics, announced today that researchers from Pfizer, Inc.
presented data on in vivo activity of PF-04523655 at the
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) annual
meeting, being held May 2-6, 2010 in Fort Lauderdale. PF-04523655
is a chemically-modified siRNA drug candidate being co-developed by
Quark and Pfizer for the treatment of wet age-related macular
degeneration (wet-AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME).
PF-04523655 was designed to be resistant to nuclease degradation
that can occur during normal cellular uptake processes in the eye
without using a specific delivery vehicle.
Results were presented in an abstract titled "Dose-Related Gene
Silencing of RTP801 with the siRNA PF-04523655 in Long Evans Rat
Models of STZ Induced Diabetes and Laser Induced CNV." The study,
led by Kay D. Rittenhouse, Ph.D., Head of the Translational
Medicine Ophthalmology, Specialty Care Business Unit at Pfizer,
demonstrated reduction of RTP801 mRNA levels in rat retina
following intravitreal administration.
Daniel Zurr, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of
Quark Pharmaceuticals, said, "These results on in vivo activity of
PF-04523655 represent an important step forward for the field of
synthetic siRNA therapeutics. Importantly, the data presented by
Pfizer demonstrate that siRNAs chemically modified to improve
stability are taken up by cells and elicit RNAi activity in vivo
without requiring complex delivery formulations."
Dr. James Thompson, Vice President Pharmaceutical Development of
Quark Pharmaceuticals said, "High concentrations of synthetic siRNA
can be attained in the eye following intravitreal administration,
making ocular diseases a particularly relevant therapeutic area for
siRNA therapeutic development. A rise in the aging population and
incidence of diabetes are contributing to the increase in wet-AMD
and DME, yet many of these patients suffer from inadequate
treatment from currently available therapies. Use of synthetic
siRNAs represents a novel therapeutic approach to potentially
address these diseases."
About the PF-04523655 (RTP801i-14) Clinical Program
PF-04523655 (RTP801i-14) is a synthetic, siRNA designed to
inhibit the expression of Quark's proprietary target, RTP801. The
product candidate is licensed to Pfizer on an exclusive worldwide
basis. Quark discovered the RTP801 gene using its BiFAR(TM) target
discovery platform, which 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.
The ongoing Phase II prospective, randomized, multi-center, dose
ranging study is designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of
PF-04523655 versus laser therapy in patients with DME. Eligible
patients were randomized to receive intravitreal injections of one
of three dose levels of PF-04523655 or laser. Therapeutic effect is
evaluated through visual acuity and retina morphological
examinations conducted over a 36-month follow up period.
About Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc is a leader in the discovery and
development of novel RNAi therapeutics. Quark has a fully
integrated drug development platform that spans therapeutic target
identification to drug development. The Company's technology
platform includes novel disease targets and siRNA structures and
chemistry, providing Quark with freedom to operate in the siRNA
intellectual property arena. Quark's approach to delivery allows
targeting of tissues and organs including the eye, kidney, ear,
lung, spinal cord and brain.
In addition to PF-04523655, Quark's development pipeline
features QPI-1002, the first systemically administered siRNA drug
in human clinical trials. QPI-1002 is being evaluated for the
prevention of acute kidney injury (AKI) following major
cardiovascular surgery and the prophylaxis of delayed graft
function after kidney transplantation. Enrollment was successfully
completed recently in Phase I studies in these indications. For the
structure of these products, Quark has obtained licenses from
Silence Therapeutics and from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.
In the first quarter of 2010, Quark initiated a Phase 1/2 study
of a new synthetic siRNA, QPI-1007, as a neuroprotective agent for
eye diseases. QPI-1007 utilizes a proprietary structure developed
in collaboration with BioSpring GmbH, that Quark believes provides
freedom to operate in the siRNA intellectual property arena. The
structure and modifications utilized in QPI-1007 preserve RNAi
activity while ameliorating potential off-target and
immunostimulatory effects of siRNAs. In addition, Quark has a broad
pipeline of siRNA drug candidates that have arisen from Quark's
research activities. The Company is committed to developing novel
siRNA structures and expects to utilize these improvements to
develop additional RNAi drug candidates based on the Company's
productive R&D engine.
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 / Janine McCargo +972 89 30 5111 (646) 536-7002 / 7033 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
CONTACT: Juliana Friedman, Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc.,
email@example.com; or Investors / Media, Sara Pellegrino,
+1-646-536-7002, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Janine McCargo,
+1-646-536-7033, email@example.com, both of The Ruth Group
Web Site: http://www.quarkpharma.com/
Posted: May 2010