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Sepracor announces formation of Versicor Inc.; Combinatorial chemistry subsidiary to leverage Sepracor's expertise in synthetic chemistry, separations and automation.

MARLBOROUGH, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 3, 1995--Sepracor Inc. (NASDAQ: SEPR), today announced the formation of a wholly owned subsidiary, Versicor Inc., a combinatorial chemistry company that will build on Sepracor's expertise in chemical synthesis and systems engineering to create diverse chemical libraries for drug discovery.

Versicor's mission is to develop and market proprietary, automated, chemical platforms that integrate novel small molecule synthetic chemistries with automation and informatics technologies. Versicor's automated chemical platforms will serve as powerful drug discovery tools for Versicor's potential pharmaceutical and biotechnology partners.

Sepracor has licensed to Versicor its extensive portfolio of synthetic chemistry technologies. Sepracor also has been working for more than a year on developing technology specifically useful for the creation of novel, drug-like heterocyclic compound libraries of complex molecules that are rich in chirality and has licensed this work to Versicor.

"This is an exciting new venture for Sepracor," said Timothy J. Barberich, Sepracor's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Versicor was formed to apply Sepracor's synthetic chemistry, separations and automation expertise to speed drug discovery through the vehicle of automated combinatorial chemistries. We expect that Versicor, as a source of novel chemical diversity formatted for high throughput screening, will be exceptionally attractive to biology-rich pharmaceutical and biotechnology partners."

Versicor Inc., headquartered in Marlborough, Mass., commenced operations in August with Jeremy P. Goldberg as President and CEO. Goldberg co-founded Mitotix Inc., a cancer research company based in Cambridge, MA. Previously, he served as a consultant to Robertson Stephens & Company's venture capital group and held business development positions at SmithKline Beecham and Becton Dickinson.

Professor Eric Jacobsen, Ph.D., of Harvard University's Department of Chemistry, is a co-founder and Chairman of the Company's Scientific Advisory Board. Professor Jacobsen, who is noted for his work in the field of organic synthetic methodology, and particularly in the area of stereoselective catalysis, is working closely with Versicor on new approaches to stereochemically defined diversity. Key managers and advisors to the new venture include James W. Young, Ph.D., formerly President, Pharmaceutical Division, Affymax N.V., and scientists and senior managers from Selectide, Sphinx, Merck, Pfizer and SmithKline Beecham.

Sepracor develops Improved Chemical Entities that are enhanced forms of existing, widely sold pharmaceuticals. The company has successfully spun out several technology companies, including HemaSure Inc. (NASDAQ: HMSR) and BioSepra Inc. (NASDAQ: BSEP).

CONTACT: David P. Southwell

Chief Financial Officer

Sepracor Inc.

or

Jean M. Devine

Director, Investor Relations

Sepracor Inc.

(508) 481-6700
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 3, 1995
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