OPKO Health, Inc. (NYSE: OPK) has agreed to make an investment in Zebra Biologics, Inc. (“Zebra”), a privately held biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of biosuperior antibody therapeutics and complex drug targets. Zebra’s patented platform is an advanced version of a core technology that underlies the discovery and commercial success of AbbVie Inc.’s Humira™, developed by Richard Lerner, M.D., at The Scripps Research Institute. The technology allows for the selection of antibodies for function rather than through simple binding. Zebra has already developed an early pre-clinical pipeline of candidate antibodies with significant commercial potential in regulating diabetes and obesity, cancer, and treatment of neurological disease.
In addition to Phillip Frost, M.D., OPKO’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Zebra’s directors and founders also include Dr. Lerner; Dr. Ronald M. Lindsay, a director and Executive Vice President for Strategic Planning of Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: SQNM), a company providing innovative diagnostic testing and genetic analysis solutions; Mr. Gao Feng, chairman and president of Beijing based Hongye International Investment Group, which operates in the energy, natural resources, finance and bio-pharmaceuticals industries; and Dr. Paul Greengard, Vincent Astor Professor at Rockefeller University and recipient of a 2000 Nobel Prize for his work concerning signal transduction in the nervous system.
“This participation is in keeping with a core strategy of investing in other companies that have valuable proprietary technology and significant future potential for OPKO,” said Dr. Frost. “We are hopeful that our portfolio of investments will continue to appreciate in value as the companies and technologies mature. In some cases, our investments offer opportunities for OPKO to obtain new products; as well as the possibility to monetize them at an appropriate time.”
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. For more information, visit http://www.opko.com. SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT This press release includes forward looking statements, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. Such statements may relate to OPKO's plans, objectives and expected financial and operating results, including statements regarding the commercial potential of Zebra’s early pre-clinical pipeline of candidate antibodies, expected benefits from OPKO’s investment in Zebra and other companies with valuable proprietary technology, the value of OPKO’s portfolio of investments and whether the investments will continue to appreciate in value, whether the investments offer opportunities for new products, and whether OPKO will be able to monetize the investments at the appropriate time. The words "may," "could," "would," "will," "believe," "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "plan," and similar expressions or variations thereof are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond OPKO's ability to control. The risks and uncertainties that may affect forward looking statements include those described in OPKO’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as risks inherent in funding, developing and obtaining regulatory approvals of new, commercially-viable and competitive products and treatments, general market factors, competitive product development, product availability, federal and state regulations and legislation, the regulatory process for new products and indications, manufacturing issues that may arise, patent positions and litigation, among other factors For more details about the risks and uncertainties related to OPKO's business, refer to OPKO's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. OPKO undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.