Fremont, CA – August 3, 2009 – Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a development-stage pharmaceutical company discovering and developing novel RNA interference (RNAi)-based therapeutics, today announced that James D. Thompson, Ph.D., Vice President, Pharmaceutical Development, will participate in multiple roles at IBC’s Oligonucleotide Therapeutics: from Concept to Implementation Conference. The conference will take place August 3-5, 2009 in Boston, MA as part of IBC’s Drug Discovery Week. Dr. Thompson has been appointed a member of the conference’s scientific advisory board and will deliver the Conference Chair Opening Remarks. In addition, he will give a presentation and participate as a panel moderator.
Dr. Thompson’s presentation, titled, “Design and Development of Synthetic siRNAs for Clinical Applications,” will describe Quark’s pipeline, which includes PF-04523655, a synthetic siRNA in Phase II clinical studies licensed by Pfizer in multiple ophthalmology indications, and QPI-1002, a synthetic siRNA in Phase I/II studies for two renal indications. The presentation will incorporate an update on Quark’s clinical studies; a case study on the first siRNA administered systemically to man; and an overview of Quark’s strategies to optimize synthetic siRNAs for clinical applications while avoiding off-target effects.
The Industry Leadership Forum panel Dr. Thompson will moderate is titled, “RNA Therapeutics – Are We Leveraging on the Promise?” It will cover the current state of development of siRNA, miRNA, antisense and aptamar therapeutics and examine how companies are capitalizing on the promise of the field. Panelists will include Paul Burke, Ph.D., Executive Director, RNA Therapeutics, Merck & Co., Inc.; Klaus Giese, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Vice President, Research, Silence Therapeutics AG; and Tod Woolf, Ph.D., President and CEO, RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
Daniel Zurr, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Quark, said, “Dr. Thompson’s active and visible roles at the conference represent Quark’s leadership position in the RNAi industry as the pioneer in systemic siRNA administration. We are at the forefront in oligonucleotide therapeutic development and look forward to discussing practical strategies and forward-looking approaches to support the current momentum in research and development in the field.”
Dr. Thompson has been a leader in siRNA development for several years. Prior to joining Quark, he was Director of Research and Development at Genta, and previously Director of Biology Research at Sirna Therapeutics (formerly named Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals), which was acquired by Merck.
About Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a development-stage pharmaceutical company engaged in discovering and developing novel RNAi-based therapeutics. 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 providing Quark with freedom to operate in the siRNA intellectual property arena, as well as the ability for non-invasive delivery of siRNA to other target tissues including the eye, ear, lung, spinal cord and brain.
PF-4523655 (RTP801i-14), currently in Phase II clinical trials, is a synthetic, chemically modified siRNA designed to inhibit the expression of the gene RTP801 discovered by Quark through the gene discovery platform BiFAR. PF-4523655 is licensed to Pfizer. In addition, Quark’s current clinical pipeline includes QPI-1002, the first systemically administered siRNA drug in human clinical trials, developed by Quark for the prevention of acute kidney injury (AKI) following major cardiovascular surgery and the prophylaxis of delayed graft function after kidney transplantation. For the structure of these products Quark has licenses from Silence Therapeutics and from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.
QPI-1007, a siRNA that utilizes a proprietary structure developed by Quark, is being evaluated in advanced IND-enabling preclinical studies as a neuroprotective agent for eye diseases. In addition, Quark has a broad pipeline of siRNA drug candidates based on novel structures developed internally. The Company expects to utilize the 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 www.quarkpharma.com.