(14th Feb 2006) MerLion Pharmaceuticals Pte Ltd Announces Sir Richard Sykes as new Chairman of the Board of Directors.

14th February 2006 - MerLion Pharmaceuticals Pte Ltd (MerLion) the Singapore-based natural products drug discovery company, announces the appointment of Sir Richard B. Sykes DSc. FRS as Chairman of its Board of Directors.

“We are delighted to have Sir Richard as Chairman of our Board.” said Dr Tony Buss, CEO of MerLion.” He brings to MerLion a wealth of scientific expertise and pharmaceutical industry knowledge. His influence will provide a significant driving force to the company as it continues to develop its partnerships and discoveries.”

Sir Richard was appointed Chairman & Chief Executive of Glaxo Wellcome plc in May 1997 and subsequently as Chairman of GlaxoSmithKline from 2000 to 2002. He is currently Rector of Imperial College London. Sir Richard said “Having been involved with Natural Product Screening in Singapore from the early 1990's I am very pleased to be associated with MerLion, one of the premier natural product screening companies in the world”

Mr Boon Swan Foo, Managing Director of Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star), and current chairman of MerLion will step down and remain on the Board. “The whole company would like to thank Mr Boon for his hard work and support of the company through its first three years” said Dr Buss.” We will value his continued input to the direction of the firm in the years to come.”

Mr Boon said “Sir Richard is an eminent leader in this field and his appointment will lead us into our next phase of development. We welcome him on board”

Sir Richard was knighted in 1994 for his services to the pharmaceutical industry. He holds a wide variety of positions on UK government and international scientific committees and recently accepted the role of Chair of the WHO International Advisory Board which oversees the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform. In 1999 he was awarded the Singapore Public Service Star Award for his services to the economy of Singapore and was made an Honorary Citizen of the country by the President, Mr S.R. Nathan in October 2004.

For further information:
 

MerLion Pharmaceuticals
 
Chris Molloy, Business Development Manager
+65 6829 5606
 
chris@merlionpharma.com

Notes for editors:

MerLion Pharmaceuticals

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 68 employees and occupies 28,000 square feet of laboratory and office space in the Singapore Science Park. Further information about MerLion Pharmaceuticals can be found at www.merlionpharma.com.

Sir Richard B. Sykes DSc, FRS

Sir Richard joined Glaxo Research Limited in 1972 as Head of the Antibiotic Research Unit, before moving to The Squibb Institute for Medical Research, Princeton, New Jersey, USA. He became Director of Microbiology in 1979 and an Associate Director of the Institute, and from 1983 to 1986 was Vice President, Infectious and Metabolic Diseases. He rejoined Glaxo in in1986 as Deputy Chief Executive of Glaxo Group Research Ltd and was appointed Deputy Chairman & Chief Executive of Glaxo plc in March 1993.

Sir Richard was awarded a PhD in Microbial Biochemistry from Bristol University and a DSc from the University of London.

Sir Richard sits on a number of UK government and scientific committees and is a Trustee of the Natural History Museum in London. He was appointed Chairman of the Bioscience Leadership Council in November 2003.

He is a visiting Professor at King's College, London and at Bristol University. In 1999 he received the Hamao Umezawa Memorial Award of the International Society of Chemotherapy in recognition of outstanding contributions in the field of chemotherapy. Sir Richard is a member of the Temasek Holdings International Panel and the International Advisory Panel of the A*Star Biomedical Research Council (Singapore).

He served as President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1998-99, and holds a number of honorary degrees and awards from institutions both in the UK and overseas. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He is a Fellow of Imperial College School of Medicine, King's College, London, a Fleming Fellow at Lincoln College, Oxford, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, an Honorary Fellow of the University of Wales, Cardiff and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Central Lancashire.