Fremont, CA., June 16, 2005 — Quark Biotech, Inc. announced this week findings from a study that outline the role of the hypoxia inducible gene RTP801 in cigarette smoking-induced pulmonary injury/inflammation at the annual Aspen Lung Conference in Aspen, Colorado from June 13th-17th, 2005. Dr. Rubin M. Tuder, Associate Professor of Pathology and Director of Cardiopulmonary Pathology at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and Quark’s collaborator and leader of the study, presented the results.
The study was conducted in wild type mice and in mice where expression of RTP801 was suppressed either genetically, by a germline knockout, or by instillation with anti-RTP801 siRNA. Results suggest that RTP801 may be an important factor contributing to cigarette smoking-induced pulmonary injury, revealing the potential participation of a novel signaling pathway in overall lung response to cellular stress.
“We are developing RNAi-based drugs based on RTP801 for a number of indications, including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD),” said Dr. Daniel Zurr, Chief Executive Officer of Quark Biotech, Inc., “We are excited about these results showing its involvement in lung function. This data adds to our wealth of information on this gene and its role in ischemic diseases of the eye, heart and other organs.”
Quark discovered RTP801 in 1997 and was recently granted three broad U.S. patents for covering the gene, its encoded protein and their inhibition. RTP801, a unique and direct gene target for hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), is involved in pathogenesis of several diseases associated with ischemia/oxidative stress.
About Quark Biotech, Inc.
Quark Biotech, Inc. is a privately held development-stage, biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Fremont, CA. Through innovative combination of gene silencing and DNA microarray technology, Quark has pioneered and patented its BiFARTM platform for high-throughput functional profiling, allowing significant advances in the identification of target genes and proteins. This technology allows the company to develop conceptually novel drugs that provide previously unavailable benefits to patients. Quark is currently harvesting novel targets identified using this enabling foundation technology. Quark has focused development efforts on treatment of fibrotic and ischemic diseases of the eye, kidney and lungs, in indications with clear unmet medical needs.
Quark corporate product development teams and research facilities are based in Fremont, CA with research facilities also in Ness-Ziona, Israel. Additional information is available at www.quarkbiotech.com.