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Opko Health Doses First Patient in Phase 3 COBALT Trial of Bevasiranib for the Treatment of AMD
Date:8/30/2007

-Groundbreaking Trial Is Designed to Compare Efficacy of Bevasiranib

Administered Every 8 Weeks or 12 Weeks with Genentech's Lucentis(R)

Administered Every 4 Weeks-

MIAMI, Aug. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Opko Health Inc. (Amex: OPK) today announced that the first patient has been dosed in the Phase 3 COBALT (Combining Bevasiranib And Lucentis Therapy) clinical trial of bevasiranib for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD). The multi- national trial will include more than 330 wet AMD patients and will assess whether bevasiranib administered every 8 or 12 weeks is safe and has equivalent efficacy in preventing vision loss as Genentech's Lucentis(R) administered every four weeks.

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 growth of the abnormal and leaky blood vessels that result in 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 3 clinical trials. Currently patients with wet AMD undergo intravitreal injections every four weeks to achieve the vision- preserving benefits of Lucentis, 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.

"We believe initiation of patient dosing in the COBALT trial is significant both because it is the first-ever Phase 3 trial of an agent based on RNAi gene silencing technology and because the growing population of older people at
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SOURCE Opko Health Inc.
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