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Aratana Therapeutics Acquires Okapi Sciences NV
Date:1/6/2014

KANSAS CITY, Kan., Jan. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Aratana Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PETX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the licensing, development and commercialization of innovative medications for pets, today announced that it has acquired Okapi Sciences NV, a Belgium-based company with a proprietary pet therapeutics antiviral platform and five clinical/development stage candidates for treating important viral diseases.  The strategic acquisition of Okapi further enhances Aratana's leadership position in pet therapeutics by bringing with it a unique combination of individuals, strong relationships with academic institutions, novel technologies and products, and favorable geographic location.  Aratana plans to continue to advance the current Okapi pipeline of high value antiviral drugs, including its feline herpes and feline immunodeficiency virus franchises. 

Okapi's lead antiviral product candidate is being developed as a treatment of ocular disease caused by feline herpes virus in cats and is poised to become the world's first antiviral small molecule therapeutic developed specifically for veterinary use.  If approved, Aratana plans to commercialize the product in certain territories under an existing development and commercialization agreement with Novartis Animal Health.  Okapi's current pipeline also includes a product for the treatment of feline immunodeficiency virus as well as additional antiviral and oncology products for both cats and dogs.

Viral infections are very common in pets, affecting millions of cats and dogs.  Currently there are no approved species-specific antiviral drugs available on the market to treat the numerous infectious diseases that threaten pets.  Typically only symptoms, rather than the u
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SOURCE Aratana Therapeutics, Inc.
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