OPKO Health buys Brazilian company

OPKO Health, the Miami healthcare company, announced Wednesday that it’s expanding its growing Latin American operations with the purchase of a Brazilian company, Silcon Comércio, Importacao E Exportacao de Produtos Farmaceuticos e Cosmeticos Ltda.

Terms of the deal were not announced.

“The company has a half-dozen dermatology products and all the import licenses,” OPKO Chief Executive Phillip Frost said in an interview.

Since it often takes more than a year to register a new business in Brazil, buying an existing company means “we’re in business from day one,” which means Silcon can be used immediately to market and distribute OPKO products, some of them from a division in Chile and others from a subsidiary in Mexico, where OPKO has a pharmaceutical factory that started out specializing in ophthalmological products but has branched out in other areas, Frost said.

The physician-entrepreneur added that the Brazilian company, based in Sao Paulo, also allows for the possibility of future marketing of 4Kscore, a new test for prostate cancer that OPKO reports is more accurate than the current PSA tests.

“With this acquisition, OPKO establishes a footprint in the most important growth market in South America,” Frost said in a prepared statement.

Frost founded OPKO in 2007, the third major pharmaceutical company that he has developed. OPKO started by specializing in pharmaceuticals to treat eye problems but has since expanded into a broad range of products, many of which are still in the development pipeline.

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