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Miami-based company partners with Pfizer to develop new growth hormone drug

Pfizer's business development team finds promise in OPKO Health developing growth-hormone deficiency drug

MIAMI – OPKO Health was set to get an upfront payment of $295 million and could get $275 million more from Pfizer to develop a new drug, the company announced Monday.

Pfizer's business development team made a deal with billionaire Philip Frost's OPKO Health, based in Miami, 4400 Biscayne Blvd. 

The pharmaceutical and diagnostics company is developing a "long-acting hGH-CTP," a growth-hormone deficiency treatment that would require weekly injections instead of the current standard of daily injections.

After the upfront payment, the company is also eligible to receive an additional $275 million if it reaches certain regulatory milestones, the press release said. In turn, Pfizer gets a exclusive license to commercialize the drug worldwide.

The announcement of the partnership with Pfizer sent OPKO Health stocks up 13 percent before the market opened, Market Watch reported. By 4 p.m. the stock was up 8.7 percent.

The drug is in a global phase 3 trial in adults and a global phase 2 trial in children and has orphan drug designation in the U.S. and Europe for both adults and children.