OPKO Health Announces Publication of Study Detecting Antibodies in NMO Patients Using OPKO Screening Technology

MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- OPKO Health, Inc. (NYSE: OPK) today announced the publication of a study applying its novel library screening technology to identify a synthetic peptoid that binds to anti-Aquaporin 4 (AQP4) antibodies in the serum of patients with Neuromyelitis optica (NMO). The study, published in the March 21, 2013 issue of the journal, Chemistry and Biology, reports on the ability to distinguish between NMO patient serum and serum from healthy controls or patients with multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s Disease, narcolepsy, and lupus with high accuracy using the Company’s powerful and general method for the identification in small blood samples of disease-specific antibodies that can serve as diagnostic biomarkers for various diseases. The technology has previously been validated using a mouse model for multiple sclerosis and also identified candidate biomarkers for human Alzheimer’s Disease that are currently undergoing more extensive testing. NMO is an autoimmune inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system. In most NMO patients, autoantibodies to the water channel protein AQP4 represent at high levels and are thought to drive pathology by mediating complement-dependent destruction of astrocytes. NMO is often diagnosed as multiple sclerosis with potentially serious adverse consequences as the optimal treatment for each differs substantially.

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.

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," "could," "intends," "estimates," and other words of similar meaning, including statements regarding our product development efforts, including our ability to develop and commercialize a diagnostic blood test for NMO, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and other important diseases, our ability to develop tests to identify biomarkers for NMO and other diseases, 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, including those described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, could cause our actual activities or results to differ materially from the activities and results anticipated in forward-looking statements. These factors include that initial testing may not be indicative of future success and we will be unable to successfully develop or commercialize a diagnostic test for NMO, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and other diseases, that the diagnostic test may fail and not be successful in identifying biomarkers or antibodies unique to NMO, Alzheimer's Disease, multiple sclerosis, or other diseases or achieve the expected results or effectiveness, and may not generate data that would support the approval or marketing of this or other diagnostic products, that others may develop products, including other early stage diagnostic products which are superior to the tests we are developing, and that the diagnostic tests if developed may not have advantages over other marketed products. In addition, forward-looking statements may also be adversely affected by 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. 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.

OPKO Health, Inc.
Steven D. Rubin, 305-575-6015

Source: OPKO Health, Inc.