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REPLIGEN's CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER IS Ex-BRISTOL-MYERS EXEC

Executive Summary

REPLIGEN's CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER IS Ex-BRISTOL-MYERS EXEC Howard Willson, Jr., who was most recently president of the $700 mil. annual sales Mead Johnson Nutritional subsidiary. Willson, 43, is the third ex-Bristol exec to join the Repligen management team. Repligen's President and Chief Operating Exec Sandford Smith, joined the Cambridge biotech company in October 1986 from an executive development and planning position with Bristol's drug and nutritional group. The biotech company's VP-Finance Ramesh Ratan held a financial position with the Bristol health group prior to joining Repligen in November 1986. Repligen has a number of joint development projects, including an AIDS vaccine project with Merck, industrial and agricultural product development with Sandoz, HIV diagnostics with Centocor, and personal care products with Gillette. Bristol-Myers, ironically, is not among the companies working with Repligen. Repligen continues to report the planned filing of an IND for an AIDS vaccine "in the near future." In a late September preliminary prospectus registering 1.47 mil. shares, Repligen noted that it has filed several patent applications for PB1 HIV protein fragment. The company also noted that its manufacturing techniques for PB1 do not require handling live AIDS virus. "The method of manufacturing," Repligen said, "has already successfully been applied by the company to the production of PB1." The company also reported that that segment of its personal care product development project with Gillette is nearing the point of clinical trials for an anti-plaque enzyme cleaning system. Repligen says it "expects" Gillette to begin clinical evaluations of the product. However, the Repligen/Gillette agreement dealing with hair care coloring agents and waving products has been declined by Gillette. "Gillette has informed Repligen," the company reported, "that it has decided not to pursue development and commercialization of products incorporating" the Repligen ingredients. Repligen retains rights to the products and is seeking other development partners. The Sept. 29 prospectus registers Centocor's 17% stake in Repligen, acquired in March in an equity, cash and project development deal between the two biotech firms. Centocor owns 1.23 mil. shares of Repligen and has options on about 240,000 shares. At the time of deal betwen the two firms six months ago, the Repligen shares were valued at $16.25 per share. Repligen's stock closed after the volatile week of Oct. 19-23 at less than half that price ($8). Repligen, in fact, is in the position at the end of the market's recent dive of having a sizeable amount of money in cash and solid securities and a low stock price. Repligen's cash and investments position on June 30 showed $26 mil. At $8 per share, with about 7.6 mil. shares of common stock, the company had a market valuation of $61 mil. on Oct. 23 -- 2.3 times its available cash.
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