Opko Health snaps up Chile's Pharma Genexx

It isn't just Big Pharma venturing into emerging markets. Opko Health (OPK) has agreed to acquire Chilean pharmaceutical company Pharma Genexx for $16 million in cash, the Miami, FL-based developer announced today. "We believe this acquisition to be an excellent strategic fit for Opko as we broadly expand into international markets. We plan to extend the range of therapeutic areas covered by our products while maintaining a position in ophthalmology," CEO and Chairman Phillip Frost said in a statement. 

Pharma Genexx, which was launched in 2003, pulled in $11 million in sales in 2008 and $7.6 million for H1 2009. The company is privately held by drugstore chain FASA and another Chilean pharma company, Laboratorios.

After the failure of a key opthalmology trial in March, Frost has been on the hunt for acquisitions to diversify Opko's pipeline and products. In June, the company licensed a new platform technology designed to speed the development of vaccines and diagnostics from the UT Southwestern Medical Center. And just over a week ago the company announced a $30 million direct stock offering to fund additional acquisitions.

Opko's stock rose 3 percent in morning trading.

- here's the Opko release