SICOR Announces Divestiture of Certain Interest In

SICOR Inc. (Nasdaq: SCRI) today announced that it has divested a 46% stake of its Metabasis Therapeutics Inc. subsidiary to Metabasis management headed by Dr. Paul Laikind. In addition, Metabasis has secured additional funding from Sankyo Co., Ltd. in the form of prepaid milestone payments and supplemental research funding under the research agreement between Sankyo and Metabasis, and a five-year convertible note. Following this transaction, SICOR will retain a 46% equity interest in Metabasis and will receive royalty payments if technologies currently owned by Metabasis are licensed or if products are developed and sold using those technologies. Due to the uncertain value of the remaining interest, SICOR plans to take a special accounting charge of approximately $2 million in the second quarter ended June 30, 1999 to write-off its investment in Metabasis. "This transaction will allow SICOR to discontinue recognizing Metabasis' financial losses, while providing a basis for it to share in any success that Metabasis might achieve in the future," said Carlo Salvi, president and chief executive officer. "This major step in our restructuring phase allows us to concentrate our efforts on enhancing the performance of our specialty pharmaceutical business. "SICOR's strategy is to focus on growing its core specialty pharmaceutical business and to divest its non-core operations," continued Salvi. "We believe that the Metabasis management team is better positioned to run a novel drug discovery operation and that this transaction will enhance the chance of future success of Metabasis." Dr. Paul Laikind, president, chief executive officer and chairman of Metabasis stated, "This restructuring provides Metabasis an opportunity to set its own course as an independent, private company. Over the past few years, we restructured and refocused the Metabasis discovery and development programs. As a result, Metabasis hopes to emerge with new platform technologies, a pipeline of early and advanced products, a strong relationship with Sankyo focused on Type II diabetes and possible new corporate alliance opportunities that will be pursued. The Metabasis management and employee team look forward to establishing Metabasis Therapeutics, Inc. as a premier, independent biopharmaceutical company." SICOR Inc. is a vertically integrated specialty pharmaceutical company with proven expertise in the development, manufacturing and marketing of multi-source injectable pharmaceuticals. With a strategy of combining both the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients utilizing synthesis or fermentation and state of the art manufacturing facilities, SICOR's primary focus is on the worldwide injectable pharmaceutical market, which currently includes oncology, anesthesiology, cardiology and other therapeutic areas. SICOR operates several manufacturing facilities in Europe, Mexico and the U.S.A., while maintaining the corporate headquarters in Irvine, California. This press release contains forward looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in the forward looking statements, including whether Metabasis will ever be successful as an independent entity, whether SICOR will enhance its performance, whether this transaction will be positive for our shareholders, and those matters set forth in the risk factors section of SICOR's filings on Forms 10-K and 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward looking statements represent the Company's judgment as of the date of this press release. The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward looking statements. For more information on the Company, visit SICOR's web site at News releases are also available at no charge through PR Newswire's News On-Call fax service. For a menu of available news releases or to retrieve a specific release made by Sicor, call 800-758-5804, extension 354050. Please retain these numbers for future reference. ots Original Text Service: SICOR Inc. Internet: Contact: Laurie W. Little of SICOR Inc., 949-455-4879; or Carolyn Bass or Jim Byers, 415-296-7383, or Patricia Walsh or Mark Owen, 212-850- 5600, all of Morgen-Walke Associates, Inc. Company News On-Call: or fax, 800-758-5804, ext. 354050 Web site:


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