Sepracor Inc. announced Wednesday that it has signed a letterof intent to purchase a new bulk-drug manufacturing facilitylocated outside Halifax, Nova Scotia, from Pharmaglobe, aCanadian company that operates out of Toronto and Halifax.

No financial terms were disclosed.

Sepracor (NASDAQ:SEPR) of Marlborough, Mass., plans to usethe facility to manufacture single-isomer versions of widelysold pharmaceuticals currently in its pipeline, as well as chiraldrugs and drug intermediates developed by otherpharmaceutical companies.

Robert Bratzler, Sepracor's executive vice president and generalmanager, told BioWorld that the company has nearly 40pending or approved patents for single-isomer versions ofcurrently marketed compounds. Furthest in development areS-atenolol (a single-isomer version of Zeneca's Tenormin, whichis approved in Denmark) and S-ketoprofen (an investigationalnew drug application has been filed). The company also isdeveloping R-ketoprofen and S-terfenadine (Marion MerrellDow's Seldane) and holds a patent on S-fluoxetine, a singleisomer version of Eli Lilly and Co.'s Prozac.

Sepracor can also use its biotransformation and assymetricsynthesis technologies to produce what Bratzler called the"building blocks" of complex multi-isomer compounds. He saidthe company has almost two dozen collaborative agreements tosupply these bulk intermediates to manufacturers. Thecompany also plans to produce bulk active ingredients forpharmaceuticals already on the market such as captopril(Bristol-Myers Squibb's Capoten, which goes off patent in1995).

Bratzler stressed that the company's new manufacturingfacility will meet FDA good manufacturing practices (GMP)guidelines, making the company a viable supplier ofcommercial quantities of bulk intermediates and genericcompounds. -- Karl Thiel

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