from the November 2011 issue

Pfizer in licensing agreement With Quark Biotech

Pfizer Inc and Quark Biotech, Inc., announced that they have entered into an agreement under which Pfizer acquires an exclusive worldwide license to Quark's novel human gene RTP-801 and to molecules that modify its expression or function. RTP-801 is involved in the development of pathologic blood vessels, which accelerate the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Financial terms of the agreement were not announced. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in the developed world affecting about 15 million Americans over the age of 50. The target for RTP-801 is neovascular or wet AMD. Wet AMD is the most devastating form of the disease and occurs due to the formation of an abnormal vascular network beneath the retina of the eye. These blood vessels are excessively leaky and lead to an accumulation of fluid and blood beneath and within the retina resulting in a loss of visual acuity. "Despite advances in research and the availability of new treatment options, there remains a need for new approaches to improve the lives of patients with AMD," said Martin Mackay, Ph.D., Pfizer senior vice president Worldwide Research and Technology. "We are excited about the potential of RTP-801 to preserve vision in patients with wet AMD who have an increased risk of progressive eye damage and vision loss."

Based on pre-clinical models, it is believed that AMD can be treated by blocking the expression of the RTP-801 gene through RNA interference or RNAi. RNAi is a naturally occurring mechanism within cells for selectively silencing and regulating specific genes. The ability to silence genes through RNAi could provide a new way to treat a wide range of human diseases -- including AMD -- that are caused by the inappropriate activity of specific genes.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report November 2011

Click HERE to request further information.
Click HERE to go BACK.