MerLion Pharmaceuticals announces the completion of a merger with Combinature Biopharm AG and Athelas SA


MerLion Pharmaceuticals Pte Ltd (MerLion) of Singapore has completed a merger by exchange of shares with Combinature Biopharm AG and Athelas SA. Both European companies become 100% subsidiaries of MerLion whose headquarters and drug discovery research centre is based in Singapore. drug development of its anti-infective programmes and nuclear magnetic resonance screening activities will be conducted from Berlin.

The company has also completed the first closure of US$ 25M from a US$30M round of financing, which will be completed in full during the fourth quarter of 2006. This funding shall propel the company towards an initial public offering within two years. The round, led by Aravis Venture of Switzerland and Bio*One Capital Pte Ltd of Singapore, represents one of the largest private rounds of funding raised for a drug discovery and development company in the region. Other participants in this round of funding include Nomura Research and Advisory, Aurelia Private Equity, Brandenburg Capital, Bioveda Capital, Novartis Venture Fund Mitsubishi Corporation and 3i Group Investment LP.

In addition to progressing at least two anti-infective candidates into clinical proof of concept studies and developing the growing portfolio of earlier candidates towards the clinic, MerLion will retain its strong partnership alliances in natural products drug discovery and will expand in two main areas: novel anti-infectives discovery and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) screening.

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