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Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
HeadquartersMarlborough, Massachusetts, United States
Key people
Nobuhiko Tamura (Chairman and CEO)
ProductsLatuda, Aptiom, Brovana, Lunesta, Xopenex, Omnaris, Alvesco, Zetonna
ParentDainippon Sumitomo Pharma

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (former NASDAQ: SEPR), known until October 12, 2010 as Sepracor, Inc. prior to its acquisition by Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma of Japan,[1] is a pharmaceutical company founded in 1984 by Timothy J. Barberich, Steve Matson, and Bob Bratzler, it was originally located in Princeton, New Jersey and then re-located to Marlborough, Massachusetts.[2] In addition to its headquarters location in Marlborough, Massachusetts, Sunovion has locations in London, England, Mississauga, Ontario Canada, and Fort Lee, New Jersey.

Company history[edit]

The company's initial focus was on the development of single isomers and active metabolites; this concept allowed Barberich and Doug Reedich to generate a patent estate that served the company well for many years. Therapeutically, Sepracor's products were focused on the treatment of central nervous system and respiratory disorders, under the direction of Gunnar Aberg, and John McCullough; the primary source of its revenue was the approximately $600 million annually from its Xopenex franchise of drugs, launched under the marketing leadership of John Simon, with the direct involvement of Medical Communications, under Dean Handley. It is available as a multi-dose inhaler (MDI) or nebulized (UDV) form; the insomnia drug Lunesta (eszopiclone) was discovered by Tom Jerussi, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2004, and launched in April 2005 under the marketing leadership of Tim Healy. On February 13, 2006, Sepracor filed a new drug application for Brovana, patented by Gunnar Aberg and John Morley, (also launched under John Simon) to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. All of the launch drugs were manufactured under the leadership of Walter Piskorski.[citation needed]

In September 2016, the company announced it would acquire Cynapsus Therapeutics for approximately $624 million, specifically expanding Sunovians central nervous system drug portfolio. Through the deal, Sunovion would acquire Cynapsus’ Phase III Parkinson's disease candidate drug APL-130277.[3]

Acquisition by Dainippon Sumitomo[edit]

On September 2, 2009, shares of Sepracor were halted on the Nasdaq due to pending news of a takeover bid by Japanese drugmaker Dainippon Sumitomo. According to the Associated Press, Dainippon planned to offer $2.6 billion for Sepracor, a nearly 28% premium over the stock's closing price on September 1.[4] Aside from acquiring such drugs as Lunesta and Xopenex, analysts said the acquisition would give Dainippon access to "Sepracor's sales force of roughly 1,200", which would open an avenue for the Japanese company to market its drugs in the United States.[5] Sepracor was set to face stiff generic competition from its expiring patents (Xopenex in 2012 and Lunesta in 2014), and had failed to discover any viable drugs in nearly 10 years.[6][7]

A formal announcement of the acquisition was made on October 12, 2010, which stated that Sunovion would be an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co. Ltd.[1]

Beneficiaries, partners, and subsidiaries[edit]

Eslicarbazepine acetate[edit]

In 2008, Bial agreed with Sepracor that its antiepileptic eslicarbazepine acetate (trade name Aptiom) would be produced in Sepracor's facilities and supervised by Bial.[8]

Omnaris and Alvesco[edit]

The company acquired Omnaris and Alvesco for $150M upfront and an addition $280M in potential milestones. Alvesco revenues for Q4'08 were -$0.3 million because returns from the "stocking" in Q3'08 exceeded the demand in Q4'08. The company disclosed a 2009 forecast of $25–$40M for Omnaris and $10–15M for Alvesco; yielding a combined total of $35M-$55M in year 2 of a launch. However, revenues continue to be dismal, prompting criticisms and concerns over the purchase price relative to minuscule income.


  1. ^ a b Company press release
  2. ^ SEPR: Profile for SEPRACOR INC - Yahoo! Finance
  3. ^ "Sunovion to Acquire Cynapsus for $624M - GEN News Highlights - GEN".
  4. ^
  5. ^ "TSE suspends trade in Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma". 2 September 2009 – via Reuters.
  6. ^ "Drugmaker Sepracor Accepts $2.6B Buyout Offer from Japan's Dainippon - Xconomy". 3 September 2009.
  7. ^ AOL. "Finance News & latest business headlines from AOL".
  8. ^ "Bial - caring for your health".

External links[edit]