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Pharma Giant Novaritis Gains Exclusive World License for Israeli Quark’s Kidney Drug

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Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Privately held Quark Pharmaceuticals Inc licensed its experimental kidney drug to Swiss giant Novartis in a multi-million dollar deal. Novartis obtained the exclusive worldwide license to Quark’s experimental drug QPI-1002 for an upfront payment of $10 million, followed by a slate of milestone payments that could reach as high as $670 million based on developmental achievements.

QPI-1002 is currently in its mid-stage trials and is being developed for the treatment of acute kidney injury in patients undergoing cardiac surgery.

Quark focuses on developing drugs based on RNA interference (RNAi), one of the hottest areas of biotechnology research, and is in partnership talks with Big Pharma for its experimental eye drug QPI-1007.

In 2006, Quark established a licensing agreement with Pfizer Inc for another eye drug being developed as a treatment for age-related wet macular deterioration, a leading cause of blindness in the developed world. In June of this year, Quark entered into a collaboration agreement with Japanese diversified materials manufacturer Nitto Denko Corp to develop a treatment for fibrotic diseases using Quark’s technology.

Novartis AG is a Switzerland-based holding that, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of healthcare products.