Opko Health Inc. (NYSE:OPK) announced the decision of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) to include 4Kscore® as a recommended test in the 2015 NCCN Guidelines for Prostate Cancer Early Detection. The panel concluded that the 4Kscore, as a blood test with greater specificity over the PSA test, is indicated for use prior to a first prostate biopsy or after a negative biopsy to assist patients and physicians in further defining the probability of high-grade cancer.

“We are pleased that the NCCN, an organization leading the way in the establishment of evidence-based guidelines for cancer diagnostics, is recommending the use of the 4Kscore test in the 2015 Prostate Cancer Early Detection Guidelines,” said David Okrongly, Ph.D., President of OPKO Diagnostics.

The 4Kscore test has been studied on over 22,000 patients with results published in 12 peer-reviewed scientific publications. “Since its launch, I have been offering and using the 4Kscore test with my patients who have an abnormal PSA prior to a first prostate biopsy and before repeating a prostate biopsy after a negative biopsy,” said Dr. Dipen Parekh, Professor and Chair, Department of Urology at the University of Miami and principal investigator for the recently published United States multicenter validation study. “The 4Kscore provides me as a clinician with important information about my patient’s individual risk for having aggressive prostate cancer and allows me to have an informed discussion with my patient about whether or not to proceed with a prostate biopsy or safely follow the patient.”

The 4Kscore test is the only blood test that accurately identifies an individual patient’s risk for high-grade, aggressive cancer. In arriving at their recommendations, the NCCN panel stated: “The challenge is to minimize immediate treatment (over-treatment) of indolent cancers by accurately characterizing the biology of the detected cancer. Identification and selective treatment of aggressive cancers should result in significant decreases in morbidity and mortality while limiting adverse effects on quality of life.”

“OPKO is committed to the strategy that effective therapy, particularly cancer therapy, can be greatly enhanced by use of diagnostic tests,” said Phillip Frost, M.D., OPKO’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Through diagnostics, we can enable physicians to take a more targeted and precise approach in their treatment strategies and thus improve patient outcomes and lower overall healthcare costs.” (Original Source)

Shares of Opko Health opened today at $15.54 and are currently trading up at $15.67. OPK has a 1-year high of $19.20 and a 1-year low of $8.02. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $16.38 and its 200-day moving average is $13.64.

On the ratings front, Opko has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on May 12, Oppenheimer analyst Rohit Vanjani maintained a Hold rating on OPK. Separately, on March 26, Barrington Research’s Michael Petusky initiated coverage with a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $19.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Rohit Vanjani and Michael Petusky have a total average return of 40.3% and 8.0% respectively. Vanjani has a success rate of 80.2% and is ranked #17 out of 3679 analysts, while Petusky has a success rate of 68.8% and is ranked #1419.

Opko Health Inc is a biopharmaceutical and diagnostics company. The Company is engaged in the research and development of pharmaceutical products and vaccines.