(20th Apr 2005) MerLion Pharmaceuticals Pte Ltd, Announces Collaboration Agreement with Sankyo Co., Ltd. of Japan.

MerLion Pharmaceuticals Pte Ltd (MerLion) today announced a three year drug discovery and development collaboration with Sankyo Co., Ltd. (Sankyo).

Under the collaboration, Sankyo will provide selected high throughput screens and additional assays to MerLion, who will provide access to its extensive sample collection and apply its screening and experienced natural products chemistry skills to the isolation of new chemical leads. MerLion and Sankyo will work in partnership throughout the lead discovery and optimisation stages of the collaboration. Sankyo will undertake clinical development and commercialisation of the discoveries.

“This agreement with Sankyo strengthens our existing relationships with Japan and key Japanese pharmaceutical companies” said Tony Buss, PhD, CEO of MerLion. “The partnership offers both Sankyo and MerLion unique opportunities to discover novel medicines from our diverse natural products chemistry and across a wide range of therapeutic areas.” “We are very pleased to be working with Sankyo, an important pharmaceutical partner who recognizes the value that is derived from natural products drug discovery and our expertise in the sector”

MerLion Pharmaceuticals Pte Ltd

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. The company's other current collaboration partners include Abbott Laboratories, Arpida SA, Athelas SA, Dow AgroSciences, Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co Ltd (now Astellas Pharma Inc), Johns-Hopkins (USA), KuDOS Pharmaceuticals, Merck and Co, NovImmmune SA and Schering-Plough Inc.
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 60 employees and occupies 28,000 square feet of labs and offices in the Singapore Science Park.


Chris Molloy
Business Development Manager
Merlion Pharmaceuticals Pte Ltd
(+65 6829 5606)

Sankyo Co., Ltd

Sankyo Co., Ltd. of Tokyo, one of Japan’s largest pharmaceutical companies, has a long history of discovering new classes of drugs, including the statin class of lipid-lowering drugs. Beginning with the discovery of the first statin, mevastatin, and the co-discovery of lovastatin, the first statin to be marketed, Sankyo has been a pioneer in the cardiovascular disease area. Additionally, Sankyo discovered, developed, manufactures and markets pravastatin sodium and olmesartan medoxomil, an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB). For further information about Sankyo and its products, log on to http://www.sankyo.co.jp/english/