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Opko Acquires CLIA Lab

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Opko Health has acquired Prost-Data, a Nashville, Tenn.-based CLIA laboratory doing business under the name OURLab.

Opko said that the acquisition would provide it with a commercial platform to support the US commercial launch of its 4Kscore protein biomarker prostate cancer test. The 4kscore test employs two protein biomarkers in the kallikrein family along with prostate-specific antigen for early detection of prostate cancer.

The lab has 18 phlebotomy sites throughout the US and a national sales force calling on urologists.

As reported previously by GenomeWeb Daily News sister publication ProteoMonitor, researchers have tested the markers used in the assay in more than 8,000 men, and the markers were independently validated in the European Randomized Study of Prostate Cancer Screening. Opko believes the panel could potentially eliminate more than 50 percent of unnecessary prostate biopsies by improving on the specificity of existing PSA tests.

In October Opko's UK-based partner International Health Technology launched the 4Kscore test in Europe as part of IHT's ProstateCheck early detection service.

Opko also said that Jonathan Oppenheimer, founder and CEO of OURlab, will assume the role of CEO of Opko's diagnostics division following completion of the deal.

Financial terms of the acquisition weren't disclosed.

Miami-based Opko, which initially focused on development of pharmaceutical products using RNA interference, has developed a molecular diagnostics business. Last month the firm received a $1 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the development of a tuberculosis test.

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