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OPKO Health Announces Issuance of U.S. Patent Covering the Use and Administration of Certain Anti-VEGF siRNA's, Including Its Phase III Compound Bevasiranib
Date:3/18/2008

first siRNA to enter a Phase III pivotal trial and now, one of the first siRNAs to receive a U.S. patent covering its broad therapeutic use. This second issued patent covering bevasiranib and its anti-VEGF applications further reinforces our confidence in our strong and growing intellectual property position in this important space. "

The newly issued patent is exclusively licensed to OPKO on a worldwide basis through an agreement with the University of Pennsylvania.

Bevasiranib is a first-in-class siRNA drug designed to silence the genes that produce vascular endothelial growth factor, believed to be largely responsible for the vision loss of wet AMD. Bevasiranib is the first therapy based on the Nobel Prize-winning RNA interference (RNAi) technology to advance to Phase III clinical trials.

The multi-national Phase III COBALT (Combining Bevasiranib And Lucentis Therapy) clinical trial of bevasiranib for the treatment of wet AMD is currently enrolling patients at multiple clinical sites. For more information about the COBALT trial, please visit http://www.opko.com/clinicaltrials.

About OPKO Health, Inc.

Miami-based OPKO is a specialty healthcare company. Its lead investigational drug, the pioneering gene silencing agent bevasiranib, has entered a pivotal Phase III trial after successfully completing Phase II trials for wet age-related macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema. OPKO is developing a preclinical pipeline of novel agents for ophthalmic diseases, and it markets innovative diagnostic imaging systems that complement the company's therapeutic products. For more information visit the company's website at http://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 identi
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SOURCE OPKO Health, Inc.
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