Photo credit: Ashley Ringrose
With a paltry 5 percent of its land officially allocated to nature—and that's including golf courses—Singapore isn't exactly heralded as a hotbed of biodiversity. A local drug-discovery company, however, begs to differ.
MerLion Pharmaceuticals, backed by the National Parks Board, plans to tap into the island-nation's plants, animals, and microorganisms as potential sources of new drugs. While the commercial exploitation of genetic resources is a sore point of contention among many indigenous cultures, Singapore has proven far savvier—royalties from any successfully produced drug will be disbursed to the nation, as well. ::Channel NewsAsia