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VARIAGENICS And Waters Form Strategic Alliance; Companies Plan to Market Genetic Variance Testing Kits to Enhance Discovery and Development of Pharmaceutical Products

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and MILFORD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 22, 2000--VARIAGENICS, INC., a leader in applying genetic variance information to the drug development process, and Waters Corporation (NYSE: WAT), the leading supplier of high-performance liquid chromatography instrumentation and consumables, and mass spectrometry products to the life sciences market, today announced that they have formed a strategic alliance to develop and commercialize NuCleave(TM) genetic variance reagent kits for use in the clinical development of pharmaceutical products.

These kits will combine VARIAGENICS' proprietary chemical cleavage genotyping/haplotyping technologies with Waters' proprietary DNA sample purification technology specifically for mass spectrometry applications. The kits will become a critical component of VARIAGENICS' proprietary NuCleave(TM) DNA analysis technology, a mass spectrometry-based system which is designed to provide the high accuracy, throughput and flexibility needed to satisfy the genotyping and haplotyping demands of the clinical testing environment.

"This is a major advance for both VARIAGENICS and Waters. We are positioning our technologies to serve pharmaceutical researchers who are recognizing the need to incorporate genetic variances into clinical trials in order to predict a patient's response to a specific drug," said Taylor J. Crouch, President and CEO of VARIAGENICS. "We are excited to facilitate Waters' entrance into the genomics field and to collaborate with a recognized leader in providing analysis and purification tools to the life science market."

"We are pleased to be working with VARIAGENICS, a leader in applying genetic variance information to the drug development process," stated Douglas A. Berthiaume, Chairman, President and CEO of Waters Corporation. "By combining our proprietary technologies, tailored to genotype and haplotype analysis, we are able to supply our customers with the latest tools for improving their drug design and development processes."

This alliance will bring together Waters' expertise in the development, manufacturing and marketing of consumables for critical laboratory analyses, with VARIAGENICS' leading-edge genotyping and haplotyping technologies. The companies will jointly market the product to pharmaceutical companies and clinical laboratories. In return for granting Waters an exclusive license to its technology in the field, VARIAGENICS will receive $10.5 million in equity and technology transfer payments and up to $4 million in milestone payments. In addition, Waters will pay royalties on NuCleave(TM) reagent kit net sales. The agreement is subject to the expiration waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.

VARIAGENICS' NuCleave(TM) DNA analysis technology will consist of a mass spectrometer, the NuCleave(TM) reagent kit, robotics components and informatics software. The system will automate the detection and analysis of variances, including single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), the most common type of genetic variation. Automated steps include DNA amplification, cleavage, purification and sample analysis for genotype and haplotype analyses.

Waters' DNA sample purification technology is the latest development from the patented polymeric sorbent platform that has produced the highly successful Oasis(R) products for sample cleanup, during clinical trials, of small molecular weight drugs from plasma. The DNA sample purification products will enable the use of NuCleave(TM) technology in the high throughput clinical lab environment where accuracy and realiability are of critical importance.

VARIAGENICS, INC., through its proprietary technology platform, identifies clinically important variances (single-nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs) in genes that affect drug action and applies this information to the discovery and development of new pharmaceutical products, diagnostic products, and disease-management practices. VARIAGENICS, a privately held, venture-backed company located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, filed a Form S-1 registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 29, 2000.

Waters Corporation holds worldwide leading positions in three complementary analytical technologies - high performance liquid chromatography, thermal analysis and mass spectrometry - which account for $3.5 billion in annual revenues of the $16 billion analytical instrument total.

NuCleave(TM) is a trademark of VARIAGENICS, INC. , Waters is a trademark of Waters Corporation.

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking. These may be identified by the use of forward-looking words or phrases such as "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "should," planned," "estimated," and "potential," among others. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations. The risks and uncertainties that may affect the operations, development, performance, and results of Waters' business are more fully described in the company's Annual Report and Form 10-K which are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    CONTACT:  VARIAGENICS, INC.
              Beverly Holley
              (617) 588-5318
              bholley@variagenics.com
              or
              Waters Corporation
              Brian Mazar
              (508) 482-2193
              mazar_brian@waters.com