OPKO Health Appoints Dr. Akhtar Ashfaq as Renal Division Senior Vice President, Clinical Research and Development

MIAMI, March 03, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OPKO Health, Inc. (NASDAQ:OPK) announced the appointment of Akhtar Ashfaq, MD, FACP, FASN to the position of Senior Vice President, Clinical Research and Development of OPKO Health’s Renal Division, effective immediately.  In this role, Dr. Ashfaq will support the ongoing adoption of RAYALDEE® (calcifediol) extended-release capsules by healthcare professionals who care for patients with stage 3 or 4 chronic kidney disease (CKD). He will lead the further development of RAYALDEE for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT) in adults with stage 5 CKD and vitamin D insufficiency who require regular hemodialysis.  He also will lead the development of ALPHAREN® (fermagate) tablets for the treatment of hyperphosphatemia in adults with stage 5 CKD.

Dr. Ashfaq was previously with AstraZeneca, where he served as Executive Director and Head of the CKD Program within Global Medical Affairs.  Prior to Astra Zeneca, Dr. Ashfaq was with Amgen where he served as Medical Director and North American Medical Lead for Epogen and Aranesp.  He is an academic nephrologist by training and has more than 15 years of clinical experience. 

“We are proud to have Dr. Ashfaq join our growing team that is focused on developing and commercializing new products for CKD patients,” stated Phillip Frost, MD, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OPKO Health.  “Dr. Ashfaq will play a major role in expanding our renal product offerings which are designed to improve the treatment of SHPT and hyperphosphatemia in CKD patients.”

About OPKO Health, Inc.
OPKO Health is a diversified healthcare company that seeks to establish industry-leading positions in large, rapidly growing markets. Our diagnostics business includes Bio-Reference Laboratories, the nation's third-largest clinical laboratory with a core genetic testing business and a 400-person sales and marketing team to drive growth and leverage new products, including the 4Kscore® prostate cancer test and the Claros® 1 in-office immunoassay platform. Our pharmaceutical business features RAYALDEE, an FDA-approved treatment for SHPT in stage 3-4 CKD patients with vitamin D insufficiency (launched in November 2016), VARUBI™ for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (oral formulation launched by partner TESARO and IV formulation pending FDA approval), TT401, a once or twice weekly oxyntomodulin for type 2 diabetes and obesity which is a clinically advanced drug candidate among the new class of GLP-1 glucagon receptor dual agonists (phase 2), and TT701, an androgen receptor modulator for androgen deficiency indications (phase 2).  Our biologics business includes hGH-CTP, a once-weekly human growth hormone injection (in phase 3 and partnered with Pfizer) and a long-acting Factor VIIa drug for hemophilia (in phase 2a). We also have production and distribution assets worldwide, multiple strategic investments and an active business development strategy. More information is available at www.opko.com.

This press release contains "forward-looking statements," as that term is defined under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA), which statements may be identified by words such as "expects," "plans," "projects," "will," "may," "anticipates," "believes," "should," "intends," "estimates," and other words of similar meaning, including statements regarding our product development efforts and our ability to expand our renal product offerings, as well as other non-historical statements about our expectations, beliefs or intentions regarding our business, technologies and products, financial condition, strategies or prospects. Many factors could cause our actual activities or results to differ materially from the activities and results anticipated in forward-looking statements. These factors include those described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as the risks inherent in funding, developing and obtaining regulatory approvals of new, commercially-viable and competitive products and treatments. In addition, forward-looking statements may also be adversely affected by 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. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date the statements were made, and we do not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements. We intend that all forward-looking statements be subject to the safe-harbor provisions of the PSLRA.


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Source: OPKO Health Inc.