Opko Health Inc. (NYSE:OPK) announced a global license agreement with The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) for the development and commercialization of novel lipoprotein signal peptidase (“Lsp”) inhibitors developed and discovered using a proprietary high throughput screening technology funded and exclusively licensed by OPKO from TSRI.

“This technology is one of the best opportunities we have for the development of specific inhibitors of Lsp, which represents a remarkable target for the development of broad and novel antimicrobial agents, as it is highly conserved throughout the bacterial and mycoplasma kingdoms and no human homologues exist,” said TSRI Professor Dennis Wolan, Ph.D., who led the research on this screening platform.

OPKO has agreed to fund additional work in Dr. Wolan’s laboratory at TSRI and to move as rapidly as possible into clinical trials.

“We are pleased to continue our collaboration with Dr. Wolan and The Scripps Research Institute to develop the next generation of highly effective antibiotics,” said Phillip Frost, M.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Our plan is to continue to build on two promising leads already identified and others using the novel screening technology developed at Scripps.”

There is a tremendous unmet medical need for new, potent antibiotics. (Original Source)

Shares of Opko Health opened today at $10.88 and are currently trading down at $10.83. 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 $13.60 and its 200-day moving average is $14.94.

On the ratings front, Ladenburg Thalmann analyst Kevin Degeeter reiterated a Buy rating on OPK, with a price target of $20, in a report issued on September 2. The current price target represents a potential upside of 84.7% from where the stock is currently trading. According to TipRanks.com, Degeeter has a total average return of 23.4%, a 59.0% success rate, and is ranked #248 out of 3752 analysts.

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