By Mary Welch

In an effort to streamline its Japanese and Asian distribution system, Pharmacopeia Inc. purchased the remaining 50 percent of the stock of its Asian partner, Teijin Molecular Simulations Inc., of Tokyo, for approximately $10 million.

Princeton, N.J.-based Pharmacopeia bought the company¿s distribution rights to Molecular Simulations Inc. (MSI) software in Japan, along with Teijin Ltd.¿s 50 percent interest in the company.

Started in 1992, the joint venture was set up with Teijin, a chemical and pharmaceutical company, to distribute MSI technology.

¿We had four distributors in Japan, which were managed by the joint venture,¿ said Bruce Myers, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Pharmacopeia. ¿Now, we have one distributor ¿ a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical ¿ and we have complete control over our sales strategy and tactics in Asia. We went from a fragmented approach to a focused one that will allow us to get closer to our customers.¿

In the rest of Asia, Pharmacopeia has a direct sales force, which will now be overseen by Teijin Molecular Systems Inc., as the company is renamed Molecular Simulations Inc. K.K. and remains based in Tokyo.

About 20 percent of total MSI sales originates in Asia.

Pharmacopeia said its performance in the Far East continues to be affected as a result of the weak economy and distribution channel changes, so first quarter revenues from MSI software are expected to fall in the lower range of analyst projections, but the buyout is expected to help in the longer run.

MSI, of San Diego, has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Pharmacopeia since last year¿s stock swap valued at about $133 million, in a deal that allowed Pharmacopeia to become an information-based firm as well as a product-based cone. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 5, 1998 p. 1. )

Using combinatorial chemistry and high-throughput screening, Pharmacopeia has compiled libraries consisting of 4.8 million small molecules, using its Encoded Combinatorial Libraries on Polymeric Support technology, known as ECLiPS.

MSI designs graphic software that Pharmacopeia uses to refine its drug discovery. The subsidiary develops and commercializes molecular modeling, simulation and informatics software and technology.

These technologies are integrated to support four businesses: software sale and service for pharmaceutical biotechnology and chemical research; chemical compound leasing; collaborative drug discovery; and internal drug discovery.

Pharmacopeia¿s stock (NASDQ:PCOP) closed Thursday at $7, down $0.50.