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Quark Pharmaceuticals Inc. (QURK) to Receive Development Milestone Payment From Mitsubishi Pharma Corporation


10/9/2007 8:37:59 AM

FREMONT, Calif., Oct. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel RNA interference-based therapeutics, announced today that it shall receive a milestone payment from Mitsubishi Pharma Corporation, a Japanese pharmaceutical company. The milestone payment was triggered by Mitsubishi's initiation of screening for small molecule inhibitors for selected target genes discovered by Quark. Financial details of the payment were not disclosed.

Quark's collaboration with Mitsubishi dates back to 1995 and has encompassed several programs for target gene discovery in different disease areas using the Company's proprietary technology platform. The agreement provides for certain licenses to Mitsubishi on selected target genes for which Quark shall receive milestone payments and royalties, as well as certain development and commercialization rights to drugs developed based on those targets. A cardiovascular target discovery program was part of the collaboration from 2002 to 2005. In 2001, Mitsubishi made an equity investment in the Company as part of Quark's Series F financing.

Daniel Zurr, CEO of Quark Pharmaceuticals, remarked, "We are pleased to announce this significant milestone with our collaboration partner, Mitsubishi. It has been a great experience for Quark to collaborate with Mitsubishi, an international leader in drug discovery. In addition, this collaboration leverages our proprietary technology outside of our internal development scope, not only in disease area but also in drug class. We look forward to continuing and expanding this and other future collaborations in the development of our novel product pipeline."

About Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel therapeutics based on its proprietary gene discovery science and technology, with an initial focus on drug candidates that work through the natural mechanism in the cell known as RNA interference, or RNAi, for the treatment of diseases associated with oxidative stress. Quark believes that its proprietary target gene discovery platform, BiFAR(TM), combined with its ability to design and successfully deliver synthetic molecules of the new class of RNAi therapeutics known as small-interfering RNA, or siRNA, to specific organs in the body, enables the Company to rapidly develop drug candidates. Quark has two internally discovered and developed lead product candidates: RTP801i-14 in phase I/IIa clinical trial for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration, and AKIi-5 for the prevention of acute renal failure. The Company has licensed RTP801i-14 to Pfizer on an exclusive worldwide basis. The company has licenses for certain RNAi intellectual property from Silence Therapeutics and Alnylam. Quark has, in addition, a product candidate portfolio of RNAi therapeutics based on novel targets and therapeutic concepts discovered using BiFAR(TM) and designed for the treatment of oxidative stress associated diseases of the inner ear, lungs and additional organs of the body.

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.

Forward-looking statement

Various statements in this release concerning the Company's future expectations, plans and prospects, including its intention to publicly offer shares of its common stock, constitute forward-looking statements for the purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including risks related to fluctuations in our stock price, as well as those risks more fully discussed in the "Certain Factors That May Affect Future Results" section of the Company's most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, any forward- looking statements represent the Company's views only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. The Company does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

GSamuels@quarkpharma.com scarrington@theruthgroup.comjmccargo@theruthgroup.com

CONTACT: Gavin Samuels of Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc., +1-646-502-7488,
GSamuels@quarkpharma.com; or Stephanie Carrington, +1-646-536-7017 / 7014,
scarrington@theruthgroup.com, or Janine McCargo, media, +1-646-536-7033,
jmccargo@theruthgroup.com, both of The Ruth Group for Quark
Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Web site: http://www.quarkpharma.com/


Read at BioSpace.com


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