FREMONT, Calif., Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a world leader in the discovery and development of RNAi-based therapeutics, today announced that it has granted Novartis an option to obtain an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize its p53 temporary inhibitor siRNA drug QPI-1002, currently the subject of a Phase II clinical trial.
Quark will receive initially a non-refundable fee of 10 million USD. In the event that Novartis exercises the option, Quark would receive option exercise fees and milestone payments that could potentially total 670 million USD. In addition Quark would be entitled to potential royalties on sales of licensed products.
Dr. Daniel Zurr, Quark's Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We are very pleased to have reached this agreement with Novartis. We believe that Novartis represents an outstanding partner for Quark. With its world-leading expertise in transplantation and acute care Novartis will provide invaluable support to the global development of QPI-1002, in development for the prevention of acute kidney injury (AKI) in patients undergoing cardiac surgery and for delayed graft function (DGF) in kidney transplant patients. The gene target of QPI-1002, p53, is a major player in apoptotic cell death; its temporary suppression rescues cells, prevents them from dying in conditions of severe stress such as ischemia, potentially opening opportunities for Novartis to novel treatments in additional indications."
About QPI-1002QPI-1002 is designed to temporarily inhibit expression of the stress-response gene, p53 and is the first synthetic siRNA to be administered systemically to humans. QPI-1002 is being developed for the prevention of acute kidney injury (AKI) in patients undergoing major cardiovascular surgery, and for the prophylaxis of delayed graft function (DGF) in patients receiving deceased donor kidney transplants. QPI 1002 completed Phase I studies in these pati