@ Opko to buy Israeli pharmaceutical firm | SEBIO

Opko to buy Israeli pharmaceutical firm

Posted by on Dec 21, 2011

MIAMI, FL – Opko Health said it struck a deal to acquire Israel-based FineTech Pharmaceutical, which manufactures pharmaceutical ingredients.

The Miami-based company (NYSE: OPK) will pay $27.5 million to buy FineTech – $10 million in cash and the rest in Opko stock. The deal is expected to close on Dec. 29.

It did not disclose information about FineTech’s sales history.

Opko said FineTech, founded by Arie L. Gutman, holds proprietary technology in several important areas of organic synthesis. Its facility in Nesher, Israel, is registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Gutman will remain with the company after the deal closes.

“The acquisition is a good strategic fit for Opko,” Chairman and CEO Dr. Phillip Frost said in a news release. “FineTech’s significant know-how and experience with analytical chemistry and organic syntheses, together with its production capabilities, will play a valuable role in the development of Opko’s pipeline of proprietary peptoids and other molecules for diagnostic and therapeutic products, while providing revenues and profits.”

Frost has plenty of experience with Israeli companies. He is the chairman of Teva Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: TEVA) and a director of Prolor Biotech (AMEX: PBTH). Both are based in Israel.

Frost has been especially active with Opko in 2011. On Tuesday, Opko announced that it launched a multicenter clinical study of its diagnostic test for prostate cancer.

In September, Opko sold its ophthalmic instrument unit for $17.5 million. The following month, it acquired Claros Diagnostics.

Opko shares were down 6 cents to $4.77 in morning trading. The 52-week high was $5.85 on Nov. 14. The 52-week low was $3.15 on June 20.



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