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Quark initiates RNAi Phase I dosing for ocular neuro – protection

Quark Pharmaceuticals Inc., has announced the dosing of a first patient in their on-going Phase I study of QPI-1007, a synthetic siRNA targeting the pro-apoptotic gene caspase-2. The company has developed the therapeutic as a neuro-protectant for the treatment of sudden vision loss associated with non-arteritic ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION). Caspase 2 is one of the main effector caspases responsible for the choreographed cell death, known as apoptosis, which characterises the final degenerative process in NAION, glaucoma and a number of retinal degenerations. NAION is thought to affect approximately 8,000 patients in the US and there are no current treatments available.