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OPKO's Bevasiranib Named One of Most Promising Drugs Recently Entering Phase III Trials

MIAMI, Dec. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- OPKO Health, Inc. (Amex: OPK) today reported that the gene silencing agent bevasiranib, OPKO's lead compound for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD), was named one of the top five most promising drugs entering Phase III clinical trials during the third quarter of 2007. The designation was reported in the current issue of The Ones to Watch report issued by Thomson Scientific Inc. Thomson's industry experts stated that their selections this quarter are intended to "showcase the ongoing drive to find therapies for diseases that impact on ageing and sedentary populations." Data for the Thomson report was compiled and analyzed using Thomson Pharma(R), a comprehensive global pharmaceutical information solution that covers the entire drug discovery and development pipeline.

"We are very pleased to receive this recognition from Thomson Scientific since we believe bevasiranib has the potential to represent a major advance in the treatment of this common condition that limits the independence and quality of life of millions of older people around the globe," said Phillip Frost, M.D., Chairman and CEO of Opko Health. "Current vision-preserving therapy requires patients with wet AMD to receive intravitreal injections every four weeks, so the potential ability of bevasiranib to achieve similar results while requiring less frequent injections would be an important benefit for these patients, who often have limited mobility. Bevasiranib also has demonstrated excellent safety in clinical trials to date, another important consideration in this patient population."

Bevasiranib is a first-in-class small interfering RNA (siRNA) drug designed to silence the genes that produce vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), 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

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

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 bevasiranib's potential ability to achieve similar results as current therapies while requiring less frequent injections, statement's about bevasiranib's safety profile, which might not be as important to patients as anticipated, statements about our product development efforts, and our ability to develop a preclinical pipeline of novel agents for ophthalmic 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 could cause our actual activities or results to differ materially from the activities and results anticipated in forward-looking statements. These factors include those factors 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 the risks that enrollment of patients for the Phase III clinical trial for bevasiranib, may not be successful, that the Phase III clinical trial itself may not be completed on a timely basis or at all, that any of our compounds under development, including bevasiranib, 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. 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.

Contacts: Media:

Corporate: GendeLLindheim BioCom Partners

Steven D. Rubin Barbara Lindheim

305 575 6000 212 918-4650

SOURCE OPKO Health, Inc.
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