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Opko Buys Uruguayan Pharma Firm to Aid Commercialization of 4KScore Prostate Cancer Test

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Opko Health said this week that it has purchased Uruguayan pharmaceutical company Laboratorio Arama de Uruguay Limited.

According to Opko CEO Phillip Frost, the purchase provides the company with "another platform for the commercialization of our 4Kscore protein biomarker prostate cancer test.

The purchase marks the second acquisition by Opko intended at supporting the launch of the test in South America. In February, the company bought Brazilian pharmaceutical firm Importacao E Exportacao de Produtos Farmaceuticos e Cosmeticos to help it commercialize the test in that country.

The 4Kscore test uses two protein biomarkers in the kallikrein family along with prostate-specific antigen for early detection of prostate cancer. Opko licensed the two markers from Finnish biotech firm Artic Partners in January 2012.

According to the company, use of 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 began a multi-center clinical validation trial for the test, which it aims to launch in the US next year.

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