Bio-Reference Laboratories Inc (NASDAQ: BRLI) stock skyrocketed more than 35% today after a merger agreement was signed with Opko Health Inc. (NYSE: OPK), a biopharmaceutical and diagnostics company involved in developing a range of solutions treatments for various conditions. The merger will cost Opko Health $1.47 billion, which is $52.58 per share of Bio-Reference. Bio-Reference is an attractive acquisition as it is the third largest clinical laboratory in the United States.
The merger is expected to be very beneficial for Opko’s diagnostic and pharmaceuticals divisions over the long run. Opko will gain access to the national marketing, distribution resources, and sales business segments of Bio-Reference to improve sales and increase investor interest.
This is the second acquisition Opko has signed this year. Earlier in May the company announced the acquisition of EirGen Pharma, Ltd., a growing, profitable and cash flow positive pharmaceutical company developing pharmaceutical products for sale in the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia, most European countries.
Opko has had a great run, as stock price increased in value by more than 90% since the beginning of the year after a number of important announcements regarding the company’s clinical trials. On May 29th the company has submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) for one of their product candidate, Rayaldee, to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Rayaldee is designed to treat and prevent secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT) in patients with stage 3 or 4 chronic kidney disease (CKD) and vitamin D deficiency.