FREMONT, Calif., Sept. 19, 2016 — Today, at the RNA Therapeutics Summit in Berlin, Germany, Quark Pharmaceuticals Inc. Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Elena Feinstein will provide an overview of Quark’s clinical and non-clinical pipelines of siRNA therapeutics focused on non-liver indications to address additional urgent unmet medical needs. RNA Therapeutics Summit is an international gathering of representatives from industry, academia and government.
“We are developing a new generation of siRNA candidates using our expertise in chemical modifications to optimize pharmacologic properties of our drugs and their applicability for curing certain diseases or conditions in the eyes, kidneys, inner ear, heart, lungs, hair follicles or central nervous system,” Dr. Feinstein says. “We have achieved preclinical efficacy proof of concept in a variety of indications, developed drug candidates and are about to start IND-enabling studies with at least two of them.”
Quark’s most advanced programs focus on two drug candidates currently in late stage clinical trials for ophthalmic and kidney indications.
QPI-1007 is being evaluated in a global Phase II/III study as a neuroprotectant for the treatment of non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION).
“NAION is a serious condition typically causing sudden vision loss without pain, and the availability of treatment for this condition is a globally unmet medical need,” Dr. Feinstein noted.
“QPI-1002 is being evaluated in a Phase III study for the prevention and amelioration of the severity of delayed graft function (DGF), a common complication of kidney transplantation necessitating post-transplantation dialysis and significantly contributing also to increased incidence of late graft rejections. There are no therapies currently available for the prevention of delayed graft function,” Dr. Feinstein said.
Dr. Feinstein’s presentation, entitled “siRNA Therapeutics for Extrahepatic Indications: Quark’s Case Study” will be delivered today at 2:40 pm.
RNA interference (RNAi) is a universal mechanism within living cells that employs non-coding RNA to control which genes are active and how active they are. This natural mechanism, which was discovered in 1998 and was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2006, has already revolutionized experimental biology and currently holds a high promise for therapeutic purposes. Various types of short double-stranded RNAs act as effector molecules of the RNAi mechanism. Some of them, targeting specific genes in a sequence-dependent manner and inhibiting their expression, are called small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). siRNAs can be designed based on the sequence information of virtually any gene, produced synthetically and used as drugs. siRNA drugs can cause inhibition of expression of any gene, regardless of its traditional attribution to potentially “druggable” or “non-druggable” targets. These drugs are highly specific and potentially safer than e.g. promiscuous small molecule therapies.
About Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a late clinical-stage pharmaceutical company, discovering and developing novel RNAi-based therapeutics for unmet medical needs. Two products, QPI -1002 for Delayed Graft Function (DGF) and QP -1007 for Non Arteritic Ischemic Optic Neuropathy (NAION) are in global phase III pivotal clinical studies, each of which was granted Orphan designation. The Company is also conducting several Phase II clinical trials. Quark’s broad pipeline of clinical and preclinical product candidates is generated by the company’s internally developed technology, which includes Quark’s RNAi platform technology and its delivery to a host of organs. Quark is headquartered in Fremont, California and operates research facilities in Ness-Ziona, Israel. For additional information please visit: www.quarkpharma.com.