Quark Pharmaceuticals Announces Poster Presentations at RNAI Europe 2008


Fremont, California, September 17, 2008 – Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a development-stage pharmaceutical company discovering and developing novel RNA interference (RNAi)-based therapeutics, today announced the presentation of posters at the 5th Annual RNAi Europe, taking place September 16-18, 2008 in Stockholm, Sweden. Three of Quark’s scientists, Igor Mett, Hagar Kalinski, and Hagit Ashush, presented posters highlighting development of specific proprietary molecular tools facilitating target discovery, generation of potent RNAi therapeutics, and analysis of their activity and delivery in the framework of Quark’s pre-clinical RNAi research.

A poster submitted by Hagar Kalinski is titled “Evaluation of siRNA Uptake in vivo in Target Tissues Using PCR-Based Quantification or in-situ Hybridization.” It describes methods for analyzing spatial distribution of synthetic siRNA in target organs and tissues, including kidneys, lungs, retinas, and spinal cords, in an in vivo animal models. The quantification of siRNA delivery to target tissues and the ability to determine its cell-specific localization facilitates siRNA therapeutic development.

“Construction of Complex RNAi Libraries for Positive and Negative Phenotypic Selection of Target Genes,” a poster submitted by Igor Mett, describes several of Quark’s approaches to generating expressed RNAi libraries that are compatible with microarray-based positive and negative phenotypic cell selection. Part of the continuing development of Quark’s BiFAR target discovery platform, these complex libraries can provide a high throughput tool to help identify targets for siRNA therapeutic development.

A third poster, submitted by Hagit Ashush, is titled “Tandem and RNAstar molecules for simultaneous silencing several genes,” and evaluates the potential of complex dsRNA structures targeting two (“tandem”) or three (“RNAstar”) different genes in vitro. The multigene nature of pathogenesis for different diseases raises the necessity to target more than one gene at a time. At the same time, simultaneous delivery of different siRNAs targeting one and the same gene can increase the treatment specificity and reduce off-target effects.

Dr. Daniel Zurr, Quark’s Chief Executive Officer, stated, “These poster presentations highlight our ongoing work to establish Quark’s leadership in the field of RNAi by developing novel IP and expertise covering technology platforms that facilitate development of siRNA therapeutics. With the industry’s most robust portfolio of siRNA therapeutics currently under evaluation in human clinical trials, Quark has proven its ability to advance siRNA products from discovery to the clinic.”

About Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a development-stage pharmaceutical company engaged in discovering and developing novel therapeutic RNAi drug candidates. Quark has a fully integrated drug development platform that spans therapeutic target identification to drug development. Quark’s RNAi technology includes novel siRNA structures and chemistry that the Company believes provide Quark with freedom to operate in the siRNA intellectual property arena, as well as the ability to deliver siRNA non invasively to organs including the eye, ear, kidney, lung, spinal cord and brain.
PF-4523655 (RTP801i-14), currently in Phase II clinical trials, is a synthetic, chemically modified, siRNA molecule to inhibit the expression of the gene RTP801, licensed to Pfizer. In addition, Quark’s current clinical pipeline includes AKIi-5, developed by Quark for the prevention of acute kidney injury (AKI) following major cardiac surgery, currently in Phase I/IIa clinical trials via systemic delivery and DGFi with open IND for prevention of delayed graft function in kidney transplantation Based on publicly available information, Quark believes AKIi-5 was the first siRNA delivered systemically in a human clinical trial.
In addition, Quark has a broad pipeline of siRNA drug candidates based a novel structure developed internally. The Company expects to utilize the structure to develop additional RNAi drug candidates
Quark is headquarted in Fremont, California and operates research and development facilities in Boulder, Colorado and Ness-Ziona, Israel. Additional information is available at www.quarkpharma.com