Opko Health (NYSE: OPK; TASE: OPK), controlled by chairman Dr. Phillip Frost, has acquired EirGen Pharma, Ltd., a pharmaceutical company based in Ireland, focused on the development and commercial supply of high potency drugs such as those used for cancer chemotherapy.
Opko will pay $100 million cash and a further $35 million in shares for the specialty pharmaceutical company which develops cancer chemotherapy treatments.
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EirGen was founded by two former executives of IVAX Pharmaceuticals, Tom Brennan and Patsy Carney. The company, situated in a state of the art high containment research and development, and manufacturing facility, is approved by the FDA, EMEA (European Health Authorities) and the PMDA (Japanese Health Authorities). High potency drugs such as those used for cancer chemotherapy are typically unsuitable for manufacture in normal multi-product facilities due to cross contamination risks.
To date, EirGen and its commercial partners have filed 10 product applications with the FDA and 5 each in Europe and Japan. EirGen has a strong research and development portfolio of over 20 niche, high barrier to entry drugs and, with access to additional capital that OPKO will provide, together with the benefits of Irish government programs to encourage research and development in Ireland, EirGen will rapidly expand its drug portfolio.
Phillip Frost, M.D. OPKO’s Chairman and CEO said: “As FineTech, OPKO’s Israeli active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing subsidiary, is also focused on high potency drugs, an immediate business synergy is expected. EirGen also offers the significant benefit of potentially being able to manufacture OPKO’s current and future products in our own facilities, which we expect will result in even higher gross margins. The superb management, research and development, manufacturing and product distribution teams, along with state of the art facilities, together, will create an important, tax efficient base of operations for OPKO, ” said Dr. Frost.