RXi Pharmaceuticals and OPKO Health Announce Strategic Pooling of RNAi Assets

  RXi Pharmaceuticals and OPKO Health Announce Strategic Pooling of RNAi
  Assets

Business Wire

WESTBOROUGH, Mass. & MIAMI -- March 7, 2013

RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (OTC: RXII), a biotechnology company focused
on discovering, developing and commercializing innovative therapies addressing
major unmet medical needs using RNA-targeted technologies, and OPKO Health,
Inc. (NYSE: OPK) today announced a strategic pooling of their respective
assets in the field of RNA interference (RNAi). Therapeutics based on RNAi
technologies hold great promise to treat a wide range of diseases based on
their potential to sustainably down-regulate the expression of a specific gene
that may be over-expressed in a disease condition.

According to the terms of an asset purchase agreement jointly executed by the
parties, RXi will acquire substantially all of OPKO’s RNAi-related assets,
including an extensive intellectual property portfolio. The patent portfolio
includes 12 patent families with claims relating to important biological
targets, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF),
hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF-1-alpha), intracellular adhesion
molecule 1 (ICAM-1), angiopoietin 2 (Ang2), and complement component 3 (C3).
These molecules are believed to play an important role in diseases of the eye,
cancer, immune disorders, and inflammatory diseases. The acquisition is
expected to close on March 12, 2013, subject to satisfaction of closing
conditions.

As consideration for these assets, RXi will issue to OPKO 50 million shares of
its common stock and will make milestone payments to OPKO up to an aggregate
of $50 million per product tied to the successful development and
commercialization of products utilizing the acquired OPKO intellectual
property. In addition, upon commercialization of these products, if approved,
RXi would make royalty payments to OPKO.

“Together with its licensors and collaborators, OPKO was one of the early
pioneers in the field of RNAi,” stated Dr. Geert Cauwenbergh, President and
CEO of RXi Pharmaceuticals. “We are honored to have the privilege to extend
OPKO’s ground-breaking work, while at the same time deepening our product
pipeline and broadening our technology platform and intellectual property
position. Combining OPKO’s RNAi assets and related intellectual property with
our self-delivering (sd-rxRNA®) technology platform will further extend our
competitive edge in this important field of pharmaceutical development.”

“We are delighted to be joining forces with RXi,” stated Phillip Frost, M.D.,
OPKO's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “RXi has contributed a major
advance to the RNAi field with its self-delivering RNAi technology. This
technology overcomes a major delivery obstacle of prior RNAi technologies by
significantly enhancing the uptake of the gene-targeting drug into cells. We
also are impressed with RXi’s development capabilities, as evidenced by its
rapid advancement of RXI-109, an exciting product candidate for the potential
treatment of dermal scarring.”

About OPKO Health, Inc.

OPKO is a multinational biopharmaceutical and diagnostics company that seeks
to establish industry leading positions in large, rapidly growing markets by
leveraging its discovery, development and commercialization expertise and
novel and proprietary technologies.

About RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation

RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (OTC: RXII) is a biotechnology company focused
on discovering, developing and commercializing innovative therapies based on
its proprietary, self-delivering RNAi platform. Therapeutics that use RNA
interference, or “RNAi,” have greatpromise because of their ability to
down-regulate the expression of a specific gene that may be over-expressed in
a disease condition. Building on the pioneering work of scientific founder and
Nobel Laureate Dr. Craig Mello, a member of the RXi Scientific Advisory Board,
RXi’s first RNAi product candidate, RXI-109, which targets CTGF, entered into
human clinical development in June 2012. For more information, please visit
www.rxipharma.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of
the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include,
but are not limited to, statements about future expectations, planned and
future development of RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation’s products and
technologies. Forward-looking statements about expectations and development
plans of RXi’s products involve significant risks, and uncertainties: risks
that RXi may not be able to successfully develop its candidates, or that
development of RNAi-based therapeutics may be delayed or not proceed as
planned, or that RXi may not successfully develop any RNAi-based products;
risks that the development process for RXi’s product candidates may be
delayed, risks related to development and commercialization of products by
RXi’s competitors, risks related to RXi’s ability to control timing and terms
of collaborations with third parties, and the possibility that other companies
or organizations may assert patent rights preventing RXi from developing its
products. Actual results may differ from those contemplated by these
forward-looking statements. RXi does not undertake to update forward-looking
statements to reflect a change in its views, events or circumstances that
occur after the date of this release.

Contact:

RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Tamara McGrillen, 508-929-3646
tmcgrillen@rxipharma.com
or
OPKO Health, Inc.
Steven D. Rubin, 305-575-4100
or
Juan F. Rodriguez, 305-575-4100
 
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.