FREMONT, Calif., June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a world leader in the discovery and development of RNAi-based therapeutics, today announced the closing of a private financing by the existing investors of Quark totaling an aggregate of $10 million. The investors are funds of the prestigious SBI Holdings Group in Japan. In connection with the financing, Mr. Yoshitaka Kitao, CEO of SBI Holdings, Inc. and Mr. Robert Takeuchi, Director of SBI Investment Co., Ltd. will become members of the Quark board of directors.
Mr. Yoshitaka Kitao, CEO of SBI Holdings, Inc., commented, "We are impressed with Quark's significant progress since our initial investment, and we look forward to further supporting the Company and its rapidly growing clinical programs. Since our previous investment in 2008, when Quark had a promising preclinical-stage RNAi drug pipeline, the Company has brought five clinical programs into the clinic and has more siRNA drug candidates in the clinic than any other RNAi company."
Quark Pharmaceuticals will use the funds to advance its RNAi drug pipeline, which has the largest number of clinical-stage siRNA therapeutic programs in the industry. The Company's pipeline candidates are currently being evaluated in five different clinical trials.
Dr. Daniel Zurr, Quark's Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We are pleased to close our latest financing round and remain well-capitalized to advance our promising siRNA drug candidates through the clinic. On behalf of our board of directors, I would also like to welcome Mr. Kitao and Mr. Takeuchi as our newest members. ."
About Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the world leader in novel RNAi discovery and development, has the largest clinical-stage siRNA pipeline in the industry. The Company's fully integrated drug development platform spans therapeutic target identification to drug development. Quark's approach to delivery allows targeting of tissues and organs including the eye, kidney, ear, lung, spinal cord and brain.
Quark's pipeline is led by PF-04523655, currently in two Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME). The siRNA therapeutic candidate was licensed to Pfizer in 2006 and both trials are being conducted by Pfizer in collaboration with Quark. PF-04523655 targets Quark's proprietary gene, RTP801, discovered using its BiFAR™ target discovery platform that identifies clinically relevant critical genes and proteins that reverse the disease phenotype when inhibited. The Company owns several families of patents covering the RTP801 gene, its RNA and protein product sequences, specific antibodies, and gene inhibition across different pathologies.
Quark's is also evaluating QPI-1002, the first systemically administered siRNA drug in human clinical trials. Enrollment was successfully completed in Phase I studies of QPI-1002 for the prevention of acute kidney injury (AKI) following major cardiovascular surgery and the prophylaxis of delayed graft function after kidney transplantation and Phase II clinical studies are planned to commence shortly. For the structure of these products, Quark has obtained licenses from Silence Therapeutics and from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.
Quark is also conducting clinical trials of QPI-1007, its first proprietary synthetic siRNA drug candidate, developed in collaboration with BioSpring GmbH. QPI-1007 provides Quark freedom to operate in the siRNA IP space, and utilizes a proprietary structure and modifications that preserve RNAi activity while ameliorating potential off-target and immunostimulatory effects of siRNAs.
Quark is also committed to leveraging a broad research pipeline of siRNA drug candidates and novel siRNA 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
SOURCE Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc.