Opko Health Inc. (NYSE:OPK) announced that VARUBI™ (rolapitant), an NK-1 receptor antagonist, is now available in the United States. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved VARUBI on Sept. 1, 2015, for use in combination with other antiemetic agents in adults for the prevention of delayed nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of emetogenic cancer chemotherapy, including, but not limited to, highly emetogenic chemotherapy.

VARUBI is a selective and competitive antagonist of human substance P/neurokinin 1 (NK-1) receptors, with a plasma half-life of approximately seven days. Results from all three Phase 3 trials of VARUBI demonstrated that patients receiving highly and moderately emetogenic chemotherapy agents, including platinum and anthracycline/cyclophosphamide-containing regimens, experienced a significant reduction in episodes of vomiting or use of rescue medication during the 25 to 120 hour period following chemotherapy administration. In addition, patients who received VARUBI reported experiencing less nausea that interfered with normal daily life and fewer episodes of vomiting or retching over multiple cycles of chemotherapy. No dosage adjustment is required for dexamethasone, a CYP3A4 substrate, when administering VARUBI. A single dose (two 90 milligram tablets) of VARUBI is to be administered approximately one to two hours prior to chemotherapy administration, in combination with a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist and dexamethasone.

Just three weeks after the approval of VARUBI by the U.S. FDA, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) added VARUBI to the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) Antiemesis Version 2.2015 as a recommended option, in combination with other antiemetic agents, for patients receiving both high emetic risk intravenous chemotherapy (HEC) and moderate emetic risk intravenous chemotherapy (MEC). Category 1, the highest level category of evidence and consensus, was granted to VARUBI for both HEC and MEC chemotherapy. (Original Source)

Shares of Opko Health opened today at $10.52 and are currently trading down at $10.45. OPK has a 1-year high of $19.20 and a 1-year low of $8.08. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $9.38 and its 200-day moving average is $13.24.

On the ratings front, Opko Health has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on September 28, Barrington Research analyst Michael Petusky maintained a Buy rating on OPK, with a price target of $19, which implies an upside of 80.6% from current levels. Separately, on September 11, Jefferies Co.’s Brandon Couillard downgraded the stock to Hold and has a price target of $11.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Michael Petusky and Brandon Couillard have a total average return of 6.0% and 11.9% respectively. Petusky has a success rate of 54.2% and is ranked #1243 out of 3842 analysts, while Couillard has a success rate of 71.6% and is ranked #238.

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