Quark Pharmaceuticals

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Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Type Private
Industry Health Care
Founded 1993
Headquarters Fremont, California, USA,
Nes Ziona, Israel
Key people Philip B. Simon, Chairman
Daniel Zurr, CEO
Rami Skaliter, COO
Employees +70 (2006)
Website www.quarkpharma.com

Quark Pharmaceuticals is a pharmaceutical company that develops RNA interference-based treatments for chronic and acute diseases.[1] The company uses state of the art RNA interference technology to develop siRNAs, which inhibit targeted genes from producing proteins associated with certain diseases. The REDD14NP, one of Quark's lead candidate products for the treatment of AMD or age-related macular degeneration, is reported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health as being in stage of clinical trials phase I. This study, which is listed as still recruiting patients, is a dose escalation where patients receive a single intravitreal injection of the drug. The main goal is to determine the safety and pharmacokinetics of REDD14NP.[2]

Other drug candidates in their pipeline include treatments for acute renal failure and hearing loss.[3]

History Highlights[edit]

  • In August 2007 Medical News Today announced that Quark obtained positive preclinical results of systemic RNAi compound for acute renal failure (ARF). The study showed that rats that were treated with the injection of Quark's siRNA AKIi-5, which inhibits the gene P53, where significantly protected from ischemia/reperfusion-induced acute kidney injury compared to the ones that were not treated. The result showed a favorable safety profile for the drug with a therapeutic index in rats greater than 250.[4]
  • Quark Pharmaceutical signed a collaboration agreement with the University of Michigan for the development of proprietary SiRNA for noise-induced hearing loss. The collaboration includes studies on different SiRNA candidate drugs inhibiting Quark's proprietary target genes for the prevention and treatment of hearing loss caused by acoustic trauma. The studies will assess delivery efficacy of SiRNA compounds to cochlear cells in the inner ear.[5][6]
  • In 2006, Quark and Pfizer signed a collaboration agreement where Quark granted Pfizer the rights to develop and commercialize drug candidates that inhibit Quark’s target gene RTP801 through RNAi.[7]
  • Since 2005, Quark also holds a collaboration with the Center for Hearing & Deafness of the University of New York at Buffalo. The focus of the collaboration is to analyze the effect of Quark's SiRNA drug candidate in preventing chemotherapy induced hearing loss.[8]
  • In 2005, Quark licenced the phase II of compound BT16 to Sanwa for the treatment of dyslipidemia.[9]
  • In 2004, peer-reviewed journal Oncogene reported that Quark discovered the role of gene Ero-1L alpha in protein secretion under hypoxic condition. This finding suggested that by inhibiting this gene, a therapeutic effect could be obtained in the treatment of cancer and other pathologies involving hypoxia.[10]
  • In 2001, Mitsubishi Pharmaceutical Corp, Sankyo Co, Fujisawa (presently Astellas) and Taisho Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. of Japan each made an equity investment in Quark.[citation needed]
  • From 1995 to 2004, Quark established collaborations with Mitsubishi Pharmaceutical Corp., Sankyo Co., Taisho Pharmaceutical., Ltd., AstraZeneca, Astellas Pharma Inc., and Shionogi & Co., Ltd. for Quark’s BiFAR technology platform to discover new target genes for drug development.[7]
  • In 1999 the prestigious magazine Science published the discovery of the concept of temporary and reversible inhibition of the p53 gene for therapeutic pursposes discovered by scientists from University of Illinois, Chicago and Quark. (10 September 1999, Vol 285, SCIENCE).

Notes[edit]

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