Biocon inks licensing pact with US-based Quark Pharma

Biotechnology major Biocon today said it has inked a pact with Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc to develop a range of siRNA (small interfering RNA) based novel therapeutics.

The companies have entered into a licensing and collaboration agreement for the development of a range of siRNA (small interfering RNA) based novel therapeutics, Biocon Ltd said in a statement.

"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 key markets," it added.

As part of the agreement, Biocon will have access to Quark's innovative and proprietary siRNA technology platform that can be leveraged for the development of novel therapeutics for various unmet medical needs.

The company, however, did not disclose financial details.

Commenting on the development, 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.

"This collaboration reinforces our commitment to develop and introduce innovative therapeutics to India to meet the unmet medical needs. We hope to use this technology for developing several other novel therapeutics," she added.

QuarkPharma CEO Daniel Zurr said the collaboration will position Biocon as the leading siRNA company in India and as an international player in this new drug category.

Shares of Biocon were trading at Rs 427.30 apiece on the BSE in late afternoon trade, up 8.82 per cent from its previous close.

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