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George F. Horner named chief executive officer and director of Versicor.


Former executive of Abbott Laboratories and Ligand

Pharmaceuticals to lead company's efforts

in developing new anti-infective drugs

Versicor Inc., today announced that George F. Horner III has joined the company as Chief Executive Officer and Director. Horner has more than 28 years of pharmaceutical industry experience, including executive management and marketing and sales positions held at Abbott Laboratories, Pfizer Inc. and Ligand Pharmaceuticals.

"I am excited to join Versicor at this stage in the company's growth," said Horner. "Versicor is the only company that combines leading combinatorial chemistry expertise with microbial genomics to identify and develop novel anti-infective drugs."

The emergence of pathogenic microorganisms, which are resistant to existing anti-infective compounds, has created an urgent need for new drugs that combat infections. Since initiating operations earlier this year, Versicor has assembled a team of chemists and biologists who are dedicated to applying cutting-edge techniques to the rapid discovery of new anti-infectives.

"I look forward to working with our impressive team," continued Horner. "Dr. Eric Gordon who leads our research effort was involved in the discovery and development of several major pharmaceutical products during his career at Bristol Myers Squibb. He became the leading innovator in the field of small molecule combinatorial chemistry while at Affymax, where he and his group published widely."

Before joining Versicor, George F. Horner III was Vice President of Commercial Operations for Ligand Pharmaceuticals and prior to that, he was Divisional Vice President of Abbott International and President, Abbott Laboratories (Canada) Ltd. His career with Abbott Laboratories spanned seventeen years, and included responsibility for many of Abbott's major international markets, including Canada, Latin America, and the Pacific Rim. Horner also held several sales and marketing positions at Pfizer Inc. and E.R. Squibb Inc.

"George Horner's management and leadership skills will effectively complement the strengths of Versicor's scientific team. We are fortunate to have the benefit of George's pharmaceutical experience, especially in the development and marketing of antibiotics for such companies as Pfizer, Squibb and Abbott," said Timothy J. Barberich, Chairman of the Board of Versicor and President and Chief Executive Officer of Sepracor Inc.

Versicor combines combinatorial chemistry with microbial genomics to develop new anti-infective drugs against resistant pathogens.

CONTACT: George F. Horner III, 619/551-1047


Jonae R. Barnes, 508/357-7347
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 27, 1996
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