- Dr. Elias Zerhouni, President of ModeX, Former President of Global R&D at Sanofi and Former NIH Director, Named President and Vice President of OPKO
- Dr. Gary Nabel, Chairman and CEO of ModeX, Former Chief Scientific Officer of Sanofi, and Founder of NIH’s Vaccine Research Center, Joins OPKO as Chief Innovation Officer and OPKO Board Member
- Alexis Borisy, Independent Lead Director of ModeX and Leading Biotech Entrepreneur and Investor, Joins OPKO Board of Directors
The transaction will be discussed on OPKO’s Q1 2022 conference call today at 4:30 p.m. ET
MIAMI, May 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — OPKO Health, Inc. (OPK), a multinational biopharmaceutical and diagnostics company, today announced the acquisition of ModeX Therapeutics, Inc., a private biotechnology company focused on the development of innovative multi-specific immune therapies for cancer and infectious diseases. OPKO acquired ModeX for $300 million in OPKO common stock.
Founded in October 2020 with headquarters in Natick, Mass., ModeX Therapeutics has developed highly flexible multispecific antibody technology platforms with broad targeting and functional capabilities, simpler manufacturing, and potentially better specificity and safety, offering significant differentiation from competing platforms. The design of these multi-species lends itself to gene-based delivery by mRNA or DNA vectors. The ModeX product portfolio includes cancer immunotherapies that combine four specificities into a single protein to enhance immune targeting and killing, as well as masking or “stealth” technology to enhance tumor-specific killing and reduce side effects. For viral diseases, prime targets for a broad and potent portfolio of multi-specific antibodies include HIV and SARS-CoV-2. A vaccine against the Epstein-Barr virus is also under development.
“The acquisition of ModeX Therapeutics significantly expands our technology base and expands our product portfolio to include multi-functional, multi-specific antibodies focused on a range of cancers and infectious diseases, with applicability to other therapeutic areas. We believe that the promise of better outcomes for patients treated with these multispecific antibodies represents a new generation of large molecule therapies and the next chapter for OPKO,” said Phillip Frost, MD, President and CEO of OPKO. “We welcome ModeX co-founders Dr. Zerhouni and Dr. Nabel, as well as Alexis Borisy to our Board of Directors, and Dr. Zerhouni and Dr. Nabel to the leadership team of ModeX. ‘OPKO. The ModeX leadership team brings to OPKO a wealth of industry experience, knowledge and contacts, which we believe will have a significant long-term positive impact on OPKO as we advance their technology and pipeline. of products and that we will take advantage of potential synergies with our current diagnostics and therapeutics portfolio.”
Elias Zerhouni, MD, co-founder and chairman of the board of ModeX, has been named chairman and vice chairman of the board of OPKO. Dr. Zerhouni brings extensive experience in academia, government, and industry as a leading authority on emerging trends and issues in medical care and biomedical research and development. A physician-researcher with an academic background in imaging and biomedical engineering, Dr. Zerhouni most recently served as President of Global Research and Development and Executive Vice President of Sanofi. Dr. Zerhouni has also served as Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Senior Fellow for Global Health Research at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, U.S. Presidential Envoy for Science and Technology, and Professor and Department Chair Russell H Morgan. of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering, Executive Associate Dean and Dean of Research at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Zerhouni was elected to the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering. He serves on the boards of the Lasker Foundation, Foundation for NIH, Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative, and Research!America. He received the Scripps Executive of the Year Award 2017 for the pharmaceutical industry and the French Legion of Honor in 2008. He has been a director of Danaher Corporation since 2009.
“Being part of OPKO represents a transformational opportunity for both companies. We anticipate this will accelerate ModeX’s product pipeline focused on unmet needs in oncology and infectious disease and the development of our innovative technologies, and also leverage leveraged synergies with OPKO’s programs,” said Dr. Zerhouni. “ModeX has been running smoothly since our inception 18 months ago based on more than 10 years of prior groundwork. We have assembled a team of world-class management with exceptional leadership experience in the public and private sectors to advance our programs.Our lead drug candidate is already in the clinical phase while several others in late preclinical phase are expected to enter clinical development in 2023. We have were prompted to join OPKO by the vision and enthusiasm of his leadership to enhance our mutual potential to breakthrough innovation.
Gary Nabel, MD, Ph.D., co-founder, president and CEO of ModeX, has been named Chief Innovation Officer of OPKO and joins the OPKO Board of Directors. Dr. Nabel, a renowned virologist and immunologist, was Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President of Sanofi, where he led the groundbreaking laboratory that developed tri-specific products currently in early clinical development. He is the founding director of the NIH Vaccine Research Center, working on vaccines and broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV, influenza, SARS, Ebola, Chikungunya, and the Epstein-Barr virus. He was previously a researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Michigan. In recognition of his cutting-edge expertise in virology, immunology, gene therapy and molecular biology, Dr. Nabel has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, is a Fellow of the American Association of Physicians and from the American Academy of Arts Sciences, and was awarded the Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award from Research! America.
Alexis Borisy, Independent Lead Director of ModeX, also joins OPKO’s Board of Directors. Mr. Borisy is a leading biotechnology entrepreneur and investor with over 25 years of experience, including serving as founder, CEO and/or Chairman of nine NASDAQ-listed companies. He co-founded and served as CEO or President of Blueprint Medicines, Foundation Medicine, Relay Therapeutics, Tango Therapeutics, Celsius Therapeutics and CombinatoRx.
With the addition of Dr. Zerhouni, Dr. Nabel and Mr. Borisy to the board of OPKO, the number of directors increases to 13.
Conference Call and Webcast Information
Management will discuss this transaction and answer questions during the company’s previously scheduled first quarter 2022 conference call, which will be held today at 4:30 p.m. EST. Participants can pre-register for the conference call using this link. Callers who pre-register will receive a unique PIN code to immediately access the call and bypass the live operator. Participants can register at any time, including up to and after the call start time. Those unable to pre-register can participate by dialing (866) 777-2509 (U.S.) or (412) 317-5413 (International). A webcast of the call can also be viewed on OPKO’s Investor Relations page and here.
A phone replay will be available through May 16, 2022 by dialing (877) 344-7529 (U.S.) or (412) 317-0088 (International) and providing passcode 6587528. A replay on Web will be available approximately one hour after the live conference call ends here.
About OPKO Health, Inc.
OPKO is a multinational biopharmaceutical and diagnostics company that seeks to establish industry-leading positions in large, fast-growing markets by leveraging its expertise in the discovery, development and commercialization of new and proprietary technologies. . For more information, visit www.opko.com.
Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements”, as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA), which statements may be identified by words such as “expects”, “plans “, “plans”, “will”, “may”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “should”, “intends”, “estimates”, and other words of similar meaning, including statements re product development efforts as well as other non-historical statements, including statements about our expectations, products, beliefs or intentions regarding the ModeX acquisition, projected future clinical developments, synergies, benefits and opportunities of the transaction, the potential of ModeX’s products and pipeline and any other statements regarding OPKO’s and ModeX’s expectations, beliefs, plans, product candidates, objectives, financial terms, assumptions or future events or performance . Many factors could cause our actual operations or results to differ materially from the operations and results anticipated in the forward-looking statements. These factors include those described in our annual reports on Form 10-K filed and to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and under the heading “Risk Factors” in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, forward-looking statements may also be affected by general market factors, competitive product development, product availability, federal and state regulations and laws, regulatory process for new products and indications, manufacturing issues that may arise, patent positions and litigation. , among other factors. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. We intend that all forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbor provisions of the PSLRA.
LHA Investor Relations
Yvonne Briggs, 310-691-7100
Bruce Voss, 310-691-7100