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Sep 26, 2006

Pfizer and Quark Biotech Enter Into Agreement for Opthamology-Related Target

  • Pfizer will acquire an exclusive worldwide license to Quark Biotech’s human gene RTP-801 and to molecules that modify its expression or function under a new agreement between the two companies. RTP-801 is involved in the development of pathologic blood vessels that accelerate the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

    Based on preclinical models, it is believed that AMD can be treated by blocking the expression of the RTP-801 gene through RNA interference or RNAi.

    “We are excited about the potential of RTP-801 to preserve vision in patients with wet AMD who have an increased risk of progressive eye damage and vision loss,” says Martin Mackay, Ph.D., Pfizer senior vp worldwide research and technology.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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