Opko Health is slated to acquire Prolor Biotech in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $480 million, the companies have announced. The transaction, which is subject to the approval of stockholders from both firms, is expected to be completed in the second half of this year.

Prolor, the Israeli biopharma firm focused on developing and commercializing longer-acting versions of approved therapeutic proteins, has already completed four clinical trials for its long-acting version of human growth hormone, hGH-CTP. The company also has a long-acting clotting factor in preclinical development that, like hGH-CTP, is also based on its CTP technology. Prolor has an exclusive license for this technology—which was first found to significantly extend the length of time a protein remains active in the body by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis—for all proteins and peptides with the exception of four endocrine proteins licensed to Merck.

“This transaction is consistent with Opko’s stated objective of broadening our portfolio of market-transforming therapies in selected specialty markets,” Phillip Frost, Opko chairman and CEO, said in a statement. Added Prolor president Shai Novik, “We believe that Opko’s track record of commitment to innovation and growth, along with its diversified portfolio of innovative therapeutic and diagnostic products, growing international presence, ongoing investments in commercial infrastructure, and highly experienced management team make this combination an excellent fit for Prolor.”

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