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John Slater joins Vernalis as General Counsel

18 November 2004

Vernalis plc (LSE:VER, Nasdaq: VNLS), announces today the appointment of Mr John Slater as an Executive Director with immediate effect. He joins as General Counsel and has responsibility for all legal and business development activities, and reports directly to Simon Sturge, the Chief Executive Officer.

Mr Slater joins the company from Celltech where he was Director of Legal Services. A solicitor, he joined Celltech in 1989. Over the past 15 years he has been a key member of the senior management team overseeing the company's growth through its many collaborative and partnership agreements and through its M & A programme culminating earlier this year in Celltech's acquisition by UCB.

Commenting on the appointment, CEO Simon Sturge said:

'I am delighted that John has joined us as General Counsel and a member of the Board. His exceptional experience will substantially add to the company's ability to execute its strategy of building a significant self-sustaining bio-pharmaceutical company.'

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Enquiries:

Vernalis plc
Simon Sturge, Chief Executive Officer
Tony Weir, Chief Financial Officer
+44 (0)118 977 3133

Brunswick Group (for analyst, financial media enquiries)
Jon Coles; Wendel Carson
+44 (0)20 7404 5959

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