OPKO Health Acquires Interest in Growing Russian Pharmaceutical Company
OPKO Health (NYSE: OPK) announced that it has acquired an approximate ten percent stake in OAO Pharmsynthez (MICEX:LIFE), a growing, fully-integrated Russian pharmaceutical company and the only life science company listed on the Moscow Stock Exchange. OPKO's investment is part of an approximate RUR 1.9 billion (US$60 million) two-stage financing in Pharmsynthez alongside the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies, a Russian state owned company (RUSNANO). RUSNANO invested approximately RUR 820 million (US$26.1 million) in the first step of the transaction. RUSNANO was established in 2007 to foster development of nanotechnology and to encourage the growth of this field in Russia.
OPKO also announced that it is partnering with Pharmsynthez to develop and market several OPKO products for sale in Russia and certain other Eastern European countries. Pharmsynthez will assist OPKO with sponsored research and product registration in Russia and neighboring Eastern European countries for CTAP101 Capsules, a vitamin D prohormone to treat secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT) in patients with stage 3 or 4 chronic kidney disease (CKD) and vitamin D insufficiency, for several diagnostic products utilizing OPKO's point of care platform, and for the 4Kscore™, its novel panel of kallikrein biomarkers and associated algorithm for the detection of prostate cancer.
OPKO and Pharmsynthez have also entered into collaboration and funding agreements pursuant to which Pharmsynthez and OPKO will share costs for certain research and development activities.
Pharmsynthez manufactures and markets branded pharmaceutical products principally within Russia and the Baltic states, provides contract research and development services, and has four proprietary drug candidates targeting niche markets; Virexxa for the treatment of advanced endometrial cancer, MyeloXen for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, PulmoXen for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, and Hivirin for the treatment of HIV infection.
“With this investment and accompanying licensing arrangements, we expand our commercial reach to the important and growing Russian and neighboring Eastern European markets, as well as acquire a valuable interest in a dynamic, fully-integrated pharmaceutical company with an innovative product pipeline in areas of great unmet medical need,” stated Phillip Frost, M.D., OPKO's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
About OPKO Health, Inc.
OPKO is a multinational biopharmaceutical and diagnostics company that seeks to establish industry leading positions in large, rapidly growing markets by leveraging its discovery, development and commercialization expertise and novel and proprietary technologies.
About OAO Pharmsynthez
Pharmsynthez is a Russian pharmaceutical company that manufactures and markets medicines used in oncology, gynecology, viral diseases and tuberculosis, and conducts clinical development of therapeutic vaccines and bio superiors. More information on OAO Pharmsynthez can be found at www.pharmsynthez.com.
RUSNANO is an open joint stock company created through reorganization of the state corporation Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies. RUSNANO's mission is to develop the Russian nanotechnology industry through co-investment in nanotechnology projects with substantial economic potential or social benefit. The Government of the Russian Federation owns 100 percent of the shares in RUSNANO. Work to establish nanotechnology infrastructure and training for nanotechnology specialists, formerly conducted by the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies, has been entrusted to the Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs, a non-commercial fund also established through reorganization of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies. More information about RUSNANO can be found at www.rusnano.com.
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