OPKO Health has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a forty-five percent stake in a private Israeli company that produces a third-generation hepatitis B vaccine (“Sci-B-Vac”) in its state of the art biologics manufacturing facility in Rehovot. The Sci-B-Vac is a recombinant mammalian cell produced next generation vaccine which has in multiple clinical studies demonstrated enhanced antibody response in a population of documented non and low-responders for which conventional hepatitis B vaccines do not elicit adequate antibody production. In addition, studies indicate that the vaccine induces rapid seroprotection and can be used for immunotherapy of chronic hepatitis B. Sci-B-Vac is currently marketed in Israel and has received marketing authorizations in several countries.
OPKO acquired its stake in the company from FDS Pharma LLP, a manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients for Russian and other markets. FDS acquired the company in the first quarter of 2012, including its Rehovot hepatitis vaccine manufacturing plant, vaccine production and marketing rights, from SciGen Limited, a Singapore biotechnology company publicly listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX: SIE). Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.