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Quark Biotech to Supply AstraZeneca with Cancer Targets

NEW YORK, Oct. 3 - Quark Biotech said Wednesday that it would use its gene and protein function profiling technology to supply AstraZeneca with potential cancer targets.

Under the terms of the deal, Quark, a Cleveland-based company that conducts most of its research in Israel, will provide AstraZeneca of London with 100 genes and proteins it identifies using its platform, known as BiFAR. The companies will also work together to evaluate and validate the function of these potential targets.

"AstraZeneca is determined to maintain its leading position in the discovery and development of novel agents targeted at the underlying mechanisms that distinguish tumor cells from normal cells," Les Hughes, vice president of global cancer research at AstraZeneca, said in a statement.

“The collaboration with QBI gives us the opportunity to identify rapidly exciting targets that are aberrant in tumor cells and hence could form the basis of future drug hunting programs,” he said.

AstraZeneca will also have the right to license target genes and proteins for product development. QBI will retain the rights to any targets AstraZeneca does not pursue.

In exchange for its research services, QBI will receive research and development funding of an undisclosed sum as well as milestone payments and product royalties.

AstraZeneca has exclusive rights to commercialize products generated from the collaboration.

Quark Biotech seeks to determine which genes and proteins are involved in a disease by focusing on key events underlying a disease and reconstructing it in tissue culture. The functional profiling platform does not require knowledge of gene sequence. 

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