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As Trading of its Stock Remains Halted, Opko Vows to Comply With Nasdaq Demands

NEW YORK (360Dx) –Opko Health said Tuesday that it would work quickly to comply with a Nasdaq Stock Market information request required for the resumption of trading of the company's stock.

Nasdaq halted trading of Opko stock on Friday afternoon based on reports that the Securities and Exchange Commission had filed suit against the company and its Chairman and CEO Phillip Frost. The exchange has advised Opko that the halt will continue until the company responds, to Nasdaq's satisfaction, to a request for information related to the lawsuit.

Opko said Tuesday that it is "working expeditiously" to respond to the exchange's information request but it cannot estimate when trading will resume.

"As noted previously, the lawsuit does not contain any allegations about Opko's financial practices, financial statements, or business practices, and Opko is confident that once a proper investigation is complete and the facts of the case have been fully disclosed, the matter will be resolved favorably for the company," Opko said in a statement.

Opko and Frost were among 20 defendants charged by the SEC with participating in market manipulation schemes that generated more than $27 million in unlawful stock sales. According to the SEC's complaint, the group of defendants, which includes 10 individuals and 10 associated companies, manipulated the stocks of three companies from 2013 to 2018 through pump-and-dump schemes, in which stock prices were inflated through false or misleading information and then sold for a profit. Defendant Barry Honig is accused of orchestrating the market manipulations and Frost is accused of participating in two of the three schemes.

Frost faces five charges related to violating sections of the Securities Act and the Exchange Act and aiding and abetting violations of other codefendants. Opko faces one count of violating the Exchange Act and another count of violating the Exchange Act and the Securities Act by aiding and abetting codefendants. Frost Gamma Investments Trust, a company for which Frost is a trustee, faces four counts related to violating the Exchange Act and the Securities Act and aiding and abetting codefendants' violations.