(21st Sep 2006) MerLion Pharmaceuticals Announces its new Board of Directors and changes to its senior management team.

MerLion Pharmaceuticals Pte Ltd (MerLion) announces additions to its board of Directors and changes in its senior management team following the recent acquisitions of Combinature Biopharm AG and Athelas SA.

The Board of the newly merged company comprises

  • Sir Richard Sykes FRS (chairman)
  • Mr. Boon Swan Foo (deputy chairman)
  • Dr. Klaus Brandau *
  • Dr. Tony Buss (CEO)
  • Ms. Chu Swee Yeok
  • Dr. Clemens Doppler *
  • Dr. Harald Labischinski *
  • Dr. Jürg Meier
  • Mr. Jean-Philippe Tripet

* newly appointed Directors

Sir Richard Sykes FRS, independent Chairman of the Board of Directors said "It is a great pleasure to welcome Dr Harald Labischinski, Dr Klaus Brandau and Dr Clemens Doppler onto the board. These outstanding individuals will provide us with greater depth and breadth as we move MerLion to the next stage."

MerLion's senior management team will consist of Dr Tony Buss, Chief Executive Officer, Dr Harald Labischinski, Chief Scientific Officer and Mr. Chris Molloy, who is promoted to Chief Operating Officer with additional responsibility for business development.

Dr Tony Buss said "These additions to the MerLion Board further extend the relevant industry expertise, corporate governance and financial network available to the company. MerLion will benefit from the experience and significant international standing of our new and existing Directors."

MerLion is developing a strong anti-infective clinical pipeline whilst retaining an internationally renowned natural product based drug discovery and partnering capability. It has state-of-the art NMR screening facilities in Berlin and owns a proven first-in-class anti-infectives technology. The company intends to finalise the remainder of a US$ 30 million round of private financing at the end of September.

Note to Editors

About Sir Richard Sykes FRS
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 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.

About Boon Swan Foo
Mr. Boon is the Managing Director of the Agency for Science, Technology & Research (A*STAR) and second Deputy Chairman of the Science and Engineering Research Council, A*STAR. As Deputy Chairman and CEO of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd grew into the 7th largest company on the Singapore Stock Exchange, with a market capitalization of S$8 billion. He was also the Chief Financial Officer, and Board Member and ExCO Director of Singapore Technologies Pte Ltd-the parent company of Singapore Technologies Group of Companies.

Mr. Boon is currently serving on the Boards of Health Sciences Authority, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, Singapore Polytechnic, Temasek Laboratories, Management Development Institute of Singapore and NTUC Income Insurance Cooperative Limited. He is also a Member of the Dean's Council of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

About Dr. Harald Labischinski
Dr. Labischinski was formerly the CEO of Combinature AG and held a number of influential academic positions including Vice-Director Robert Koch-Institute of the Federal Health Organisation of Germany until his move to Bayer AG 1993. There he held positions including Department Head Antibacterial Therapy, and Director Anti-infective Research. In 2004 he became Senior Research Fellow Anti-infective Research. He is author of over 160 publications and patents. He has been President (2003-2005), and remains vice president, of the German Society for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM), and Board Member of the German Association of Biological and Biomedical Societies (VBBM).

Dr Labischinski has recently been invited to join the programme committee for the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, the world’s largest meeting on infectious diseases, which meets this month in San Francisco. In this role Dr Labischinski will be overseeing the area of New Antimicrobial Agents and New Research Technologies.

About Dr Klaus Brandau
Dr. Brandau is an active board member for a variety of organizations. In 2001, he retired after a distinguished career at Bayer AG culminating as Corporate Senior Vice President, a role he held for over a decade. From 1989, Dr. Brandau headed the International Cooperation and Licensing Department of the Pharmaceutical Business Group. His responsibilities encompassed the global in- and out-licensing activities in the areas of Research and Development as well as Marketing and Sales. Previous to this position, Dr. Brandau held various management positions in international drug development. Between 1970 and 1971, Dr. Brandau was a visiting scientist in the laboratory of Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Julius Axelrod, at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA.

About Ms. Chu Swee Yeok
Ms Swee-Yeok CHU is the Chief Executive Officer of Bio*One Capital, an investment management company of Singapore Economic Development Board (SEDB) which oversees global investments in the biotechnology and medical devices & technology. Bio*One manages one of the largest biomedical fund in Asia, and has some 60 portfolio companies worldwide. Apart from Merlion, Ms CHU's holds several other board directorship responsibilities, including S*BIO, an oncology drug discovery & development company; A-Bio Pharmaceuticals, a biologics process development & clinical contract manufacturing company, CombinatoRx Singapore, a joint-venture focusing on developing infectious disease drugs; Lonza Singapore, a joint-venture in commercial scale contract manufacturing; and the Novartis Institute of Tropical Diseases (NITD) in Singapore.

About Dr. Clemens Doppler
Dr Doppler has been a director at 3i since 2000 and has 10 years of international business experience in the pharma and biotech industries. He started his career in R&D and has worked in business development. He held senior position at Boehringer Mannheim (now Roche) and was in the management team of Swiss Biotech company ANAWA Laboratories AG, which was successfully sold in 1997 to Phoenix International Life Science (now MDS Inc.) a world leading healthcare and CRO services provider. Dr Doppler specialises in biotechnology and life science technology investments and is a member of 3i's core healthcare team.

As well as serving on various boards, Dr Doppler is a member of the German biotech analyst association DVFA. He is also a fellow of the German Cancer Research Centre. Dr Doppler holds degrees in marketing and economics and a MSc and Ph.D. in molecular biology, chemistry and microbiology from the University of Heidelberg.

About Mr. Jean-Philippe Tripet
Mr. Jean-Philippe Tripet is founder and Managing Partner of Aravis Venture, an internationally active venture fund focused on biotech investments. Jean-Philippe Tripet has over 15 years experience as portfolio manager and financial analyst. He has a degree in business administration from the University of Geneva, did graduate studies in San Diego (USA) and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Until 2001, he was a Senior Executive Vice-President and member of Group Management at Lombard Odier & Cie, Geneva. Since 1994, Jean-Philippe Tripet has supervised over 90 private biotech investments. He is also Chairman of the board of directors of Evolva and Athelas, Vice Chairman of Symetis, and a director of Omeros.

About Dr Jurg Meier
Dr. Jürg Meier is the former Executive Director of the Novartis Venture Fund, a position he held from 1998 to 2006. Before taking this position, he had a 25 year career within Sandoz Pharma where he held significant positions in international research and development at Sandoz Pharma Ltd., including head of worldwide R&D, and president of Sandoz Pharma in Japan. Dr Meier is a member of the Swiss National Science Foundation.

About Dr. Tony Buss
Dr. Tony Buss is the President and CEO of MerLion Pharmaceuticals. He has held senior research and management positions with major pharmaceutical and agrochemical companies, including 7 years with Pfizer, 6 years with Schering AG (both in the UK and Germany) and 13 years with GlaxoSmithKline. He joined the Centre for Natural Product Research, Singapore, in 2000 as Head of the Centre, before its incorporation as MerLion Pharmaceuticals Pte Ltd in 2002. Dr. Buss is a graduate of the Royal Institute of Chemistry, London. He was awarded a MSc from the University of East Anglia in 1978 and received his PhD in 1981 from the University of Cambridge, England.

About Mr. Chris Molloy
Mr. Chris Molloy was formerly business development manager at MerLion where he was responsible for the establishment and maintenance of all partnership and business to business relationships. Before joining MerLion, Mr. Molloy had a 14 year career at GlaxoSmithKline in a variety of management roles within preclinical drug discovery and informatics. He is a graduate in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Bradford.

Contact Chris Molloy: MerLion Pharmaceuticals Pte Ltd

Tel: +65 6829 5606

Fax: +65 6829 5601