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Newly Published Study Shows OPKO's siRNA Bevasiranib Is Taken Up by Target Tissues in the Eye
Date:6/3/2008

- Study Published in Journal Molecular Vision - - Results Show Good Distribution of Bevasiranib to Retina and RPE Cells

after a Single Intravitreal Injection -

MIAMI, June 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- OPKO Health, Inc. (Amex: OPK) today announced that a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Molecular Vision demonstrates that bevasiranib, its siRNA (small interfering RNA) agent is distributed throughout the eye, including extensive uptake into the retina. In two tissue distribution and pharmacokinetic studies in rabbits, results showed that bevasiranib was present in the retina and in targeted retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells following intravitreal injection. Bevasiranib is a gene-silencing agent designed to shut down the production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a primary cause of the new blood vessel growth, or neovascularization, associated with vision loss in patients with wet age-related macular degeneration, or wet AMD. The efficacy and safety of bevasiranib are currently being assessed in the COBALT study, an international Phase III trial for the treatment of wet AMD.

"Importantly, these data indicate that following intravitreal injection, bevasiranib distributes to the ocular structures relevant to the VEGF-induced neovascularization associated with vision loss in wet AMD, and we believe this animal data provides support for the use of bevasiranib in our ongoing pivotal Phase III trial for the treatment of wet AMD," said Samuel Reich, Executive Vice President of OPKO Ophthalmics. "It is noteworthy that bevasiranib was distributed to the RPE cells, since we believe that even a fraction of the tissue-associated bevasiranib entering the RPE cell is likely to be ef
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SOURCE OPKO Health, Inc.
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