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Quark Pharmaceuticals Announces First RNAi Drug Candidate Having a Novel, Proprietary Structure Covered by Quark Intellectual Property
Date:9/25/2008

Data Validates Neuroprotective Effect of Quark's New RNAi Product on Dying Retinal Ganglion Cells, a Cause of Blindness in Glaucoma

FREMONT, Calif., Sept. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a development-stage pharmaceutical company discovering and developing novel RNA interference (RNAi)-based therapeutics, today announced QPI-1007 as the Company's first siRNA drug candidate based on its own intellectual property for a host of novel structures having freedom to operate in the siRNA IP space. QPI-1007, which is currently being evaluated in advanced IND enabling preclinical studies as a neuroprotective agent for eye diseases, is the first drug candidate to utilize a novel siRNA structure developed by Quark free of third party IP. The Company is utilizing its proprietary structures and intellectual property to develop additional RNAi drug candidates in its robust pipeline.

Quark has completed studies with QPI-1007 in different animal models of acute and severe optic nerve injury. In collaboration with Prof. Ann Logan of the Division of Medical Sciences, Department of Medicine, University of Birmingham, UK, Quark examined QPI-1007's effectiveness in a model of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death by optic nerve crush (ONC). In a second study of QPI-1007 in collaboration with Prof. Adriana Di Polo of the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Universite de Montreal, its effectiveness was examined in a model of RGC death induced by axotomy of the optic nerve. QPI-1007 displayed neuroprotective activity towards RGCs. It significantly protected retinal neurons against delayed degeneration and reduced injury induced RGC death in vivo, the hallmarks of glaucoma and acute injuries such as ischemic optic neuropathy.

Dr. Daniel Zurr, Quark's Chief Executive Officer, stated, "With more RNAi products in human trials than any other company in the industry, Quark has proven its ability to advance siRNA products from discovery to the clinic.
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SOURCE Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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