OPKO Acquires Novel Vaccine Technology from Academia Sinica
--New Technology May Be Useful to Develop Universal Antiviral Vaccine--
MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- OPKO Health, Inc. (NYSE Amex:OPK) today announced that it has entered into a worldwide exclusive license agreement with Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan, for a new technology to develop protein vaccines against influenza and other viral infections. The technology was discovered by Dr. Chi-Huey Wong, a renowned biological chemist, and his team at Academia Sinica.
OPKO is forming a subsidiary in Taiwan to collaborate closely with Academia Sinica to develop the first product, a universal flu vaccine, to surmount the problem of the emergence of new strains against which vaccines produced with presently available technology do not provide satisfactory protection.
"The entire OPKO team is excited to be working with Academia Sinica and Dr. Wong to develop products which deal with important unmet medical needs," said Phillip Frost, M.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OPKO. "Academia Sinica has long enjoyed a reputation for being the most prestigious academic institution in Taiwan and we, at OPKO, are honored to have been selected to help translate the fruits of its scientific work into products to prevent and treat serious medical problems. We hope that the innovative discovery by Dr. Wong and his team will lead to the development of a protein based flu vaccine which will cross react with H1, H3 or H5 flu variances. Instead of the typical method of making a cocktail of inactivated viruses for annual flu shots, this new approach to anti-viral vaccines is designed to recognize and destroy new strains of flu virus before the virus has a chance to mutate," said Dr. Frost.
About OPKO Health, Inc.
Miami-based OPKO is a specialty healthcare company whose initial emphasis has been on products for use in ophthalmology. It is now also utilizing new technologies to develop important products in other areas of medicine.
For more information visit the company's website 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 pipeline of products, our ability to develop protein vaccines against influenza and other viral infections or a universal flu vaccine, or to develop and commercialize the Academia Sinica technology to prevent and treat serious medical problems, 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 risks inherent in funding, developing and obtaining regulatory approvals of new, commercially-viable and competitive products and treatments, including that any of our products under development, including protein vaccines, may fail, may not achieve the expected results or effectiveness and may not generate data that would support the approval or marketing of products for the indications being studied or for other indications, and that these technologies may not ever result in the development of a flu vaccine or that any such vaccines, if developed, may not have effectiveness against any strain or multiple strains of influenza. 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.
Source: OPKO Health, Inc.
Released July 20, 2009