Washington, D.C. 20549

                            REPORT OF FOREIGN ISSUER

                      Pursuant to Rule 13a-16 or 15d-16 of
                       the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

                           For the month of April 2003

                           AETERNA LABORATORIES INC.
                (Translation of registrant's name into English)

                        1405, boul. du Parc-Technologique
                                 Quebec, Quebec
                                 Canada, G1P 4P5
                    (Address of principal executive offices)

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant files or will file annual reports
under cover of Form 20-F or Form 40-F.

                   Form 20-F             Form 40-F   X
                            -----                  -----

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant by furnishing the information
contained in this Form is also thereby furnishing the information to the
Commission pursuant to Rule 12g3-2(b) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

                        Yes                     No   X
                            -----                  -----

If "Yes" is marked, indicate below the file number assigned to the registrant in
connection with Rule 12g3-2(b): 82-

                                 DOCUMENTS INDEX


1.           Press Release of April 8, 2003: Appointments to AEterna Scientific
             Advisory Board



                                                                   PRESS RELEASE
                                                           FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


QUEBEC CITY, CANADA, APRIL 8, 2003 - Gilles Gagnon, President and Chief
Executive Officer at AEterna Laboratories Inc. (TSX: AEL; Nasdaq: AELA) today
announced the following appointments to its Scientific Advisory Board: Dr.
Fernand Labrie, Director of Research at the CHUL Research Centre in Quebec
City, Dr. Klaus H.R. Diedrich, Director of the Department of Gynecology and
Obstetrics of the University Clinic in Luebeck, Germany, as well as Dr. Rene
Frydman, Director of the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at the
Antoine Beclere Hospital in Clamart, a suburb of Paris.

"The expertise of these new members, together with that of the other members
of our board, enables us to build a team of top scientists in oncology and
endocrinology, two sectors that are now the focus of our scientific research
strategy," stated Dr. Jurgen Engel, Managing Director at Zentaris, as well as
Executive Vice President, Global Research and Development and Chief Operating
Officer at AEterna.

"We are very proud to welcome such eminent scientists to our Scientific Advisory
Board," commented Gilles Gagnon. "Our new board is now composed of eleven
external members: five Canadians, three Americans and three Europeans. This
further reflects our determination to position AEterna as an international
biopharmaceutical company. I would also like to take this opportunity in
expressing our sincere gratitude to Dr. Kenneth C. Anderson of the Dana-Farber
Cancer Institute in Boston, as well as to Dr. Daniel Sauder of Johns Hopkins
University in Baltimore for their valuable contribution over the years to our
development program of Neovastat."


Dr. Labrie is Director of Research at the CHUL Research Centre in Quebec City
with 175 senior scientists and 1,200 employees under his supervision. He founded
the Research Laboratory in Molecular Endocrinology in 1969, as well as the CMR
Research Group in Molecular Endocrinology in 1973. Dr. Labrie was also President
of the Quebec Health Research Fund from 1992 to 1995. He has more than 1,000
scientific publications and has been a guest speaker at over 460 national and
international scientific meetings. He is the recipient of multiple awards and


Director of the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics of the University Clinic
in Luebeck, Germany, Dr. Diedrich is also current President of the German
Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics (DGGG). He is the former President of the
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. Together with Dr. Rene
Frydman, he pioneered the clinical development of Zentaris' LHRH antagonist,


Director of the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at the Antoine Beclere
Hospital in Clamart, a suburb of Paris, Dr. Frydman also acts as a technical
consultant in charge of medical research and ethics for the French Ministry of
Research. He was responsible for the IN VITRO fertilization of the first French
test tube baby, the first child resulting from a frozen embryo. He is also
recognized as a specialist of infertility therapies and high-risk pregnancies.
Decorated Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur en 1993, Dr. Frydman has received
multiple awards for his work and is the author of many books.


AEterna is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel
therapeutic treatments, mainly in oncology and endocrinology. The product
pipeline includes 12 products ranging from preclinical stage up to marketing.
AEterna has strategic worldwide partners such as Ardana Bioscience, Baxter
Healthcare S.A., German Remedies Ltd., Grupo Ferrer Internacional, Hainan
Tianwang International Pharmaceutical, LG Life Sciences Ltd., Mayne Group, Medac
GmbH, Serono International S.A., Shionogi & Co., Ltd. and Solvay Pharmaceuticals

AEterna owns 100% of the biopharmaceutical company, Zentaris GmbH, based in
Frankfurt, Germany.

AEterna also owns 61.8% of Atrium Biotechnologies Inc., which develops and
markets nutritional supplements, as well as active ingredients and fine
chemicals intended for the cosmetics, nutrition, fine chemicals and
pharmaceuticals industries. Atrium markets over 500 products in 20 countries to
industry leaders such as Estee Lauder, L'Oreal, Clarins, Chanel, Aventis,
SanofiSynthelabo and Nestle.

AEterna and its entities have 270 employees in Canada and Europe.

AEterna shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (AEL) and the NASDAQ
National Market (AELA).

News releases and additional information about AEterna are available on its Web
site at


This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are made pursuant
to the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and
uncertainties which could cause the Company's actual results to differ
materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and
uncertainties include, among others, the availability of funds and resources to
pursue R&D projects, the successful and timely completion of clinical studies,
the ability of the Company to take advantage of the business opportunities in
the pharmaceutical industry, uncertainties related to the regulatory process and
general changes in economic conditions. Investors should consult the Company's
ongoing quarterly and annual filings with the Canadian and U.S. securities
commissions for additional information on risks and uncertainties relating to
the forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned not to rely on these
forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake to update these
forward-looking statements.

                                     - 30 -

MEDIA RELATIONS:                            INVESTOR RELATIONS:
Paul Burroughs                              Jacques Raymond
Tel.: (418) 652-8525 ext. 406               Tel.: (418) 652-8525 ext. 360
Cell.: (418) 573-8982                       Cell.: (514) 703-5654
Fax: (418) 577-7671                         Fax: (418) 577-7700
E-mail:          E-mail:

USA                                         EUROPE
Lisa Lindberg                               Matthias Seeber
Tel.: (212) 825-3210                        Tel.: 011 49 69 4 26 02 34 25
Fax: (212) 825-3229                         Fax: 011 49 69 4 26 02 34 44
E-mail:                  E-mail:


             Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by
the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.

                                           AETERNA LABORATORIES INC.

Date:  April 8, 2003                       By:  /s/Claude Vadboncoeur
--------------------                           ---------------------------------
                                               Claude Vadboncoeur
                                               Vice President, Legal Affairs and
                                               Corporate Secretary