Silence Therapeutics to Receive $1.9m Milestone Payment as Pfizer and Quark Commence Phase II Trial
News Aug 05, 2008
Silence Therapeutics plc has announced that its partner, Quark Pharmaceuticals Inc. together with Pfizer, has commenced a Phase II clinical trial with RTP-801i-14 (PF-4523655), a small interfering RNA (siRNA) therapeutic product based on Silence's AtuRNAi technology. Its initiation triggers a $1.9 million milestone payment to Silence from Quark.
The study is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the candidate in improving visual acuity compared to laser treatment in patients with diabetic macular oedema.
The Phase II study is being funded and is conducted by Pfizer Inc. in collaboration with Quark. Pfizer in-licensed RTP-801i-14 from Quark in a deal announced in 2006 for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other ophthalmologic and non-ophthalmologic indications.
In December 2004 Quark and Silence Therapeutics AG signed a Collaboration Agreement on the development of siRNA molecules for the gene target RTP-801, which resulted in RTP801i-14, a 19 base pairs long blunt-ended AtuRNAi (siRNA) molecule and also provided Quark with a license to AtuRNAi technology.
In addition a second agreement (Option and License Agreement) was signed in April 2005, and expanded in 2007, to provide Quark with options for non-exclusive licenses to develop additional molecules against further specific targets using Silence Therapeutics' proprietary AtuRNAi technology.
The Company also announces that its operating company Silence Therapeutics AG has been awarded a research grant from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The BioChancePlus grant program provides individual grants to support innovative research initiatives in Germany. The grant, which totals €1.5 million over three years, was awarded to Silence Therapeutics AG in recognition of the company's pioneering research and development projects in the field of RNAi.
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