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Quark extends Pfizer agreement to develop investigational compound in glaucoma indication

Thursday, May 03 2012 | Comments
Evidence Grade 0 What's This?
Quark Pharmaceuticals Inc. amended an existing exclusive licensing agreement with Pfizer Inc. to include the development of PF-655, an investigational small interfering RNA therapeutic product, as a treatment for glaucoma.

The amendment will make it possible for Quark to conduct a Phase IIa trial to evaluate the ability of PF-655 to enhance visual function in patients with moderate or advanced open-angle glaucoma (OAG).

The study will be conducted along with an ongoing Phase IIb study of PF-655 in patients with diabetic macular edema.

The revised agreement states that if Pfizer assumes development and potential commercialization of PF-655 in either or both indications following review of the Phase IIa data, Quark will receive option exercise payments and will be eligible to receive development and regulatory milestones specific to each indication, as well as sales milestones and royalties. Quark could also be eligible to receive additional total payments of as much as approximately $165 million associated with the development and approval of PF-655 in the OAG indication.

PF-655 was developed with Silence Therapeutics Plc's AtuRNAi technology, and Quark sublicensed the compound to Pfizer in 2006. Accordingly, Silence Therapeutics is entitled to receive a share of milestone and royalty payments that Quark might earn in connection with PF-655.

Previously, Silence Therapeutics stated that it could receive as much as $95 million from Quark as a result of Quark's licensing agreement with Pfizer. With this amendment to the agreement, Silence Therapeutics estimates that its share of milestone and royalty payments could reach $120 million. Silence Therapeutics said it has already received $6 million from Quark in connection with the license.

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