OPKO Health Agrees to Buy Cytochroma
OPKO Health, Inc. (NYSE: OPK) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Cytochroma Inc. (Markham, Canada) whose lead products, both in phase 3 clinical trials, are Replidea™ (coded 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, and Alpharen™, a non-absorbed phosphate binder to treat hyperphosphatemia in dialysis patients.
Replidea™ has been shown in a phase 2b clinical trial to effectively and safely treat SHPT and the underlying vitamin D insufficiency in pre-dialysis patients. Vitamin D insufficiency arises in CKD due to the abnormal upregulation of CYP24, an enzyme which destroys vitamin D and its metabolites. Studies in CKD patients have demonstrated that currently available over-the-counter and prescription vitamin D products cannot reliably raise blood vitamin D prohormone levels or effectively treat SHPT.
“OPKO intends to market Replidea™ along with our proprietary point-of-care vitamin D diagnostic test currently in development,” stated Phillip Frost, MD, CEO and Chairman. “We envision these remarkable products as part of the foundation for a new and markedly improved standard of care for chronic kidney disease patients having SHPT and/or hyperphosphatemia.”
Alpharen™ has been shown safe and effective in treating hyperphosphatemia in the phase 2 and 3 clinical trials undertaken to date in dialysis patients. Hyperphosphatemia (elevated serum phosphorus) exacerbates SHPT and promotes bone disease, soft tissue mineralization and progression of kidney disease. Approximately 90% of dialysis patients in the United States require regular treatment.
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