Biocon signs agreement with US-based Quark Pharma

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Biotechnology company Biocon Ltd and Quark Pharmaceuticals Inc have entered into a tie-up for the discovery and development of small interfering RNA (siRNA)-based medicines.

California-based Quark Pharma develops RNA interference-based treatments for chronic and acute diseases.

This treatment involves a biological process in which RNA molecules inhibit gene expression by causing the destruction of specific RNA molecules used to treat conditions such as glaucoma.

This collaboration will enable Biocon to co-develop, manufacture and commercialise QPI-1007, a novel siRNA drug candidate for ophthalmic conditions, for India and other markets, according to a company statement.

siRNA are molecules and understanding the way these molecules work is important for validating the functioning of genes which would help in disease-causing genes.

The company did not disclose the financial details of this transaction.

Biocon Chairperson and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said: “Quark is the world leader in this technology and their joint development efforts on QPI-1007, targeting ocular neuroprotection, aims at providing relief to several patients suffering from serious ophthalmic conditions.”

Markets cheered this development and the stock closed at Rs 439, a 12 per cent increase over its previous closing.

According to the company, glaucoma affects 12 million people accounting for 12.8 per cent of blindness affecting people.


India Brand Equity Foundation, December 18, 2013