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OPKO buys stake in Russian life science company

MIAMI (AP) -- OPKO Health Inc. said Thursday it will spend about $9.5 million to acquire a 10 percent stake in Russian life science company OAO Pharmsynthez.

OPKO Health is a holding company with investments in pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies. The company said it is teaming up with Russian Corp. of Nanotechnologies, a state-owned company, in a two-step investment that could be worth up to $60 million. OPKO said Rusnano invested about $26 million in the first step of the investment.

OPKO said it will work with Pharmsynthez to develop and market some of OPKO's products in Russia and Eastern Europe. The collaboration includes diagnostic products, a prostate cancer test, and a drug that is used to treat hyperparathyroidism in patients with advanced chronic kidney disease. The companies will also share costs on some research and development work.

Shares of OPKO Health lost 2 cents to $7 in midday trading.