OPKO Health, Inc. has acquired CURNA, Inc., a privately held company based in Jupiter, Florida, engaged in the discovery of new drugs for the treatment of a wide variety of illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease, metabolic disorders and genetic anomalies. Unlike its competitors in the field of oligonucleotide therapeutics, CURNA's broad platform technology is based on the up-regulation of protein production through interference with non-coding RNA's (natural antisense). This strategy is unique and contrasts with established approaches which down-regulate protein production. CURNA has designed a novel type of therapeutic modality, termed AntagoNAT, and has validated this approach for up-regulation of several therapeutically relevant proteins. CURNA's technology, exclusively licensed from The Scripps Research Institute, was developed by Dr. Claes Wahlestedt, a founder of CURNA. CURNA has developed and patented molecules which increase the production of over 90 key proteins involved in a large number of individual diseases.
"OPKO is pleased to acquire CURNA," said Dr. Phillip Frost, OPKO's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We believe CURNA's unique technology may be important for treating diseases in which increased levels of specific proteins are important, such as APOA1 to increase HDL levels to prevent heart disease, and genetic disorders in which higher levels of specific enzymes or other proteins may be beneficial or curative."
Joe Collard, CURNA's CEO and co-founder, also stated, "I believe the CURNA technology provides significant opportunities for new drug development, and I am excited that Florida-based OPKO will be taking CURNA to the next level."