Opko Health Inc. (NASDAQ:OPK) announced the promotion of Thomas Nusbickel to the newly created position of Chief Commercial Officer of OPKO Health’s Renal Division, effective immediately.  In this new role, Mr. Nusbickel will lead the continued commercialization of RAYALDEE® (calcifediol) extended-release capsules for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT) in adults with stage 3 or 4 chronic kidney disease (CKD) and vitamin D insufficiency.  Mr. Nusbickel, previously Senior Vice President of Marketing and Market Access, will be responsible for all commercial activities, including sales, marketing and market access.

Mr. Nusbickel has 30 years of commercial biopharmaceutical experience leading launches for specialty products at Abbott Laboratories, Amgen, Hospira and Pfizer. Prior to joining OPKO Health last year, Mr. Nusbickel was Head of U.S. Market Access, Biosimilars for Hospira, a Pfizer company, where he built an industry-leading account sales and market access team to support product launches. Mr. Nusbickel gained deep experience in the nephrology market at Amgen, where he led the successful global launch of Sensipar and secured access and reimbursement for Aranesp and Epogen. He is recognized for his ability to develop and implement high-impact product marketing, value messages and strategies to engage payers and marketing organizations to support product launches and life cycle management.

“We are delighted to promote Tom to Chief Commercial Officer as he has a proven record of successfully launching biopharmaceutical products, including within the nephrology market.  Tom’s duties will include ensuring that all sales, marketing and market access activities are aligned to meet our strategic commercial objectives. He has done an outstanding job in leading our team since RAYALDEE’s launch in late November 2016, and he will continue to play a central role as we expand RAYALDEE’s market reach to bring this novel therapeutic to the benefit of patients suffering with CKD,” stated Phillip Frost, M.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OPKO Health.

Separately, OPKO announced the discontinuation of a 20-person internal telemarketing sales team supporting RAYALDEE.  Going forward, the company will use only field-based representatives to promote sales of RAYALDEE within the nephrology community.

Shares of Opko Health are currently trading at $8.28, up $0.01 or 0.12%. OPK has a 1-year high of $12.15 and a 1-year low of $8.17. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $9.55 and its 200-day moving average is $9.95.

On the ratings front, OPK has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on January 3, Ladenburg Thalmann analyst Kevin Degeeter maintained a Buy rating on OPK, with a price target of $19.50, which represents a potential upside of 134% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on the same day, Barrington Research’s Michael Petusky maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $15.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Kevin Degeeter and Michael Petusky have a yearly average return of 8.2% and 14.3% respectively. Degeeter has a success rate of 49% and is ranked #987 out of 4382 analysts, while Petusky has a success rate of 65% and is ranked #487.

OPKO Health, Inc. is a diversified healthcare company. It operates through Diagnostics, and Pharmaceutical segments. The Diagnostics segment is consists of the pharmaceutical operates that the company acquired in Chile, Mexico, Ireland, Israel, and Spain and its pharmaceutical research and development operations. The Diagnostics segment is primarily comprised of the clinical and laboratory operations tit acquired through the acquisition of Bio-Reference and OPKO Lab and its point-of-care operations.