Quark Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Fremont, Calif.-based developer of RNA interference-based therapeutics, has raised $27 million in new VC funding led by affiliates of SBI Holding Inc. The company last year withdrew registration for an $80 million IPO, citing unfavorable market conditions.
Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a development-stage pharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel RNA interference-based therapeutics, today announced the closing of a private financing totaling an aggregate of $27 million. The major investors are Investment vehicles of SBI Asset Management Co., Ltd. and SBI Investment Co., Ltd., subsidiaries of the prestigious SBI Holding Inc. Quark Pharmaceuticals will use the funds to progress the clinical studies of its RNAi drug pipeline.
Mr. Kazuyuki Matsui, President and CEO of SBI Asset Management, commented, “SBI is very excited to continue our support and deepen our relationship with Quark Pharmaceuticals. We are encouraged by the progress that Quark has made and we strongly support the Company's clinical trials going forward.”
Daniel Zurr, Chief Executive Officer of Quark, commented, “The additional funding we are announcing today will allow us to significantly expand our clinical program. Between our licensee, Pfizer, and Quark, we anticipate having Quark drug candidates in five clinical programs by the second half of 2008.”
Mr. Zurr continued, “We are thrilled to have the continuous endorsement and support of seasoned investors like SBI Asset Management, who bring years of proven experience in building technology companies. It is a vote of confidence in our RNAi technology platform, intellectual property and ability to move candidate products into clinical development.”
About Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a development-stage pharmaceutical company engaged in discovering and developing novel therapeutic RNAi drug candidates. Quark has a fully integrated drug development platform that spans therapeutic target identification to drug development. Quark's RNAi technology includes novel siRNA structures and chemistry that the Company believes provide Quark with freedom to operate in the siRNA intellectual property arena, as well as the ability to deliver siRNA locally and systemically to organs including the eye, ear, kidney, lung, spinal cord and bone marrow.
Quark's current clinical pipeline includes AKIi-5, developed by Quark for the prevention of acute kidney injury (AKI) following major cardiac surgery, currently in Phase I/IIa clinical trials via systemic delivery. Based on publicly available information, Quark believes this was the first siRNA delivered systemically in a human clinical trial.
In addition to AKIi-5, Quark's lead compound, RTP801i-14, licensed to Pfizer on an exclusive worldwide basis, is completing Phase I/IIa trials for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Quark expects its partner, Pfizer, to continue to progress RTP801i-14 through Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of AMD and diabetic macular edema (DME).
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