Quark Nabs Novartis Option Deal

Xconomy San Francisco — 

Quark Pharmaceuticals, the Fremont, CA-based developer of RNA interference drugs, said today it has struck a deal to provide Novartis with an option on an exclusive worldwide license to a new kidney treatment. Quark is getting $10 million in upfront cash, and could receive as much as $670 million in milestone payments, plus royalties on sales, if Novartis exercises its option to co-develop QPI-1002. The drug, which uses RNA interference techniques to silence the p53 protein, is being developed to prevent acute kidney injury in patients undergoing heart surgery.