(26th Jul 2005) MerLion Pharmaceuticals announces expansion of existing drug discovery collaboration with Merck & Co., Inc.

MerLion Pharmaceuticals Pte Ltd, of Singapore today announced the extension of their existing collaboration with Merck & Co., Inc to discover and develop new drug candidates derived from natural products chemistry.

The new agreement extends the term of existing drug discovery projects for human health for an additional two years and increases the number of validated drug targets under collaborative research. The agreement also extends the scope of the collaboration to include the discovery and development of new animal health care products.

Under the collaboration, MerLion will provide access to its extensive sample collection for selected targets, and apply its screening and experienced natural products chemistry skills to the isolation of new chemical leads. The companies will collaborate on the optimisation of such novel compounds and generate candidates for future development.

MerLion will receive revenues in the form of up-front payments, milestones and royalties.

“The extension of our existing relationship with Merck is a validation of our scientific expertise and of our belief in reliable, long-term partnerships” said Dr. Tony Buss, CEO of MerLion. “Merck remains one of the leaders in the field of natural products-based drug discovery and their recognition of our ability to discover novel, active chemistry represents a clear sign of our standing in this area. The extension of the term and expansion of the scope of the agreement offers MerLion wide-ranging opportunities for new discoveries and a solid platform of revenues for the future.”

About MerLion Pharmaceuticals Pte Ltd
 

www.merlionpharma.com

MerLion Pharmaceuticals Pte Ltd is a privately-held Singapore based pharmaceutical company, focusing on the discovery and development of new drug candidates from natural sources. MerLion Pharma collaborates with leading pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies and research institutes to identify and develop new drug candidates for a wide range of molecular targets.

MerLion Pharma has a strong pipeline of pre-clinical candidates displaying novel chemistry and modes of action. It plans to accelerate development of these compounds towards the clinic whilst maintaining a productive discovery engine, supplying new leads and candidates via collaboration and independently. MerLion Pharma is staffed by over 65 employees and occupies 28,000 square feet of laboratory and office space in the Singapore Science Park.