(29th Sept 2003) MerLion Pharmaceuticals Announces Research Collaboration with Schering-Plough Research Institute

Singapore, September 29, 2003 - Merlion Pharmaceuticals Pte. Ltd. (MerLion Pharma), a Singapore-based drug discovery company, today announced a three-year research collaboration with Schering-Plough Research Institute (SPRI), the pharmaceutical research and development arm of Schering-Plough Corporation (NYSE: SGP).

Under terms of the agreement, SPRI will provide a broad range of high-throughput assays for drug targets that MerLion Pharma will screen against its extensive collection of natural product samples. SPRI will be responsible for the progression of lead compounds through development and will have worldwide right to any products resulting from the collaboration.

MerLion will be entitled to milestone payments from SPRI as well as royalties on sales of any products resulting from the collaboration. MerLion will retain rights to discoveries that SPRI does not select for further development.

"We look forward to a productive research collaboration, building on SPRI's drug discovery technologies and MerLion's comprehensive natural product library," said Dr. Tony Buss, CEO of MerLion Pharma. "The unique chemical diversity found in our natural product library represents a key component of the collaboration."

Schering-Plough Corporation of Kenilworth, N. J. USA, is a research-based company engaged in the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceutical products worldwide.

MerLion Pharmaceuticals Pte. Ltd. (MerLion Pharma) is a privately held Singapore-based company focusing on the discovery and development of new drug candidates from natural sources. The company's assets and capabilities include an outstanding natural product sample collection, advanced high-throughput screening technology, assay development and medicinal chemistry capabilities. MerLion Pharma collaborates with leading pharmaceutical companies and research institutes to identify and develop drug leads in a wide range of therapeutic areas. In addition to SPRI the company currently has collaboration agreements with Abbott Laboratories, Athelas SA, British Biotech, Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Genome Therapeutics, Johns Hopkins (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., KuDOS Pharmaceuticals, Merck and Co., the National Cancer Centre (Singapore) and NovImmune SA. MerLion Pharma is also developing and commercialising lead compounds emerging from its own discovery programs. MerLion Pharma is staffed by over 60 employees and occupies 20,000 square feet of laboratories and offices in the Singapore Science Park.

MerLion Pharma's news releases and other information are available on the company's Web site at www.merlionpharma.com.