PRESS RELEASE
                                                           FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC, FEBRUARY 19, 2002 -- AEterna Laboratories Inc. (TSE: AEL,
NASDAQ: AELA) today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and
the year ending December 31, 2001. All amounts are in Canadian funds.

"The year 2001 has been marked by several important events that have enabled us
to attain important scientific, clinical and financial goals, contributing
thereby to the growth of the company," declared Dr. Eric Dupont, AEterna's
President and Chief Executive Officer. "We would like to place particular
emphasis on the completion of the recruitment of all 280 patients for our Phase
III clinical trial for the treatment of kidney cancer, the completion of a $15.7
million public offering, the signing of our first strategic alliances with
pharmaceutical companies for marketing Neovastat on the European continent and
the successful acquisition of the French company Unipex by our subsidiary
Atrium, which allowed it to post record sales."

Sales by Atrium Biotechnologies Inc. rose by $35.4 million in 2001 to $43.8
million, compared to $8.4 million for the year 2000. This 495% increase can be
attributed to the sales generated by Unipex of France, acquired last July, and
to the overall growth of international sales through the introduction of new
cosmetic and nutritional products. Atrium's net earnings for 2001 increased by
34% compared to the year 2000.

Fourth quarter sales from Atrium rose by $17.9 million, reaching $20.2 million
compared to $2.3 million for the same period last year. "With the acquisition of
Unipex, Atrium is now not only a leading company specializing in the development
and marketing of innovative ingredients in the fields of cosmetics, nutrition,
fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals, but also as a choice partner for several
multinational companies such as L'Oreal, Estee Lauder, Aventis, Kodak and
Nestle," emphasized Mr. Luc Dupont, Atrium's Vice Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer. "During the upcoming year, we will pursue our growth strategy based on
sustained internal growth and the acquisition of high end technologies and

AEterna's R&D investments, which amounted to $22.6 million in 2000, were
increased to $29.2 million in 2001. This increase was required to continue the
Phase III pivotal clinical trials for treatment of lung and kidney cancer as
well as the Phase II clinical trial in multiple myeloma. The Phase III trials
are the final clinical stage leading to the commercialisation of Neovastat upon
approval of regulatory agencies.

During the fourth  quarter,  AEterna's  R&D  investments  amounted  to $8.2
million, an increase of $1.1 million compared to the same period last year.

AEterna recorded a net loss of $2.8 million, or $0.08 per share, in the fourth
quarter, compared to a loss of $4.2 million or $0.14 per share for the same
period last year. This reduced loss can be explained by future tax assets posted
to the Atrium subsidiary.

For the twelve-month period ended on December 31, 2001, the Company recorded a
net loss of $3.5 million, or $0.11 per share, in comparison with a net loss of
$9.7 million or $0.33 per share. In spite of an increase of $6.6 million in R&D
expenses, AEterna closes the year 2001 with a reduction of the net loss by $6.2
million due to Atrium's increased profit, a non recurrent gain on dilution in
the amount of $10.2 million and a $4.8 million income tax recovery.

The Company's consolidated cash position remains strong with $54.1 million in
cash and short-term investments as of December 31, 2001. "Our sound cash
position will enable us to complete the clinical studies on kidney cancer and
multiple myeloma according to schedule," stated Dennis Turpin, AEterna's Vice
President and Chief Financial Officer.


December:         AEterna completed patient recruitment of all 280 patients for
                  its Phase III Clinical Trial in Kidney Cancer.

September:        AEterna successfully completed a public offering of 1.95
                  million subordinate voting shares at a price of $8.00 per
                  share, for gross proceeds of $15.7 million.

July:             AEterna's subsidiary, Atrium Biotechnologies Inc., acquired
                  Unipex of France in a $21 million transaction. Unipex
                  specializes in value-added services in supporting innovation,
                  importing and distributing raw materials and high-end
                  brand-name additives.

March:            At the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer
                  Research, in New Orleans, AEterna presented results of a Phase
                  I/II study on metastatic kidney cancer showing a two fold
                  increase in survival time (7.1 months to 16.3 months) of
                  refractory patients having received an optimal dose (240 ml
                  per day) of Neovastat compared to patients given a low dose
                  (60 ml per day).

                  Also at the same meeting, AEterna disclosed results of an
                  experimental study revealing a third mechanism of action for
                  Neovastat, its capability of bringing about the death of
                  endothelial cells, called apoptosis. Neovastat was already
                  known for its antiangiogenic activity at the VEGF and MMP

                  United States Patent and Trademark Office granted AEterna a
                  new patent, which broadens protection of the Neovastat
                  manufacturing process. AEterna now holds six (6) patents and
                  six (6) others are awaiting approval.

February:         AEterna signed its first two strategic alliances in Europe
                  with the pharmaceutical companies Grupo Ferrer of Barcelona,
                  Spain and Medac of Hamburg, Germany for marketing and
                  distributing Neovastat on the European continent which
                  represents close to 30% of the world market. The deal is
                  estimated at more than $40 million in milestone payments


During the year, two (2) scientific articles concerning Neovastat appeared in
peer review publications: ANTICANCER RESEARCH and SEMINARS in Oncology. Five (5)
other articles are currently under press for publication in peer reviews such as


AEterna Laboratories Inc. is a Canadian biopharmaceutical company, and is one of
the world leaders in the development of angiogenesis inhibitors, primarily in

Neovastat is currently undergoing two Phase III pivotal clinical trials for the
treatment of lung and kidney cancer, and one Phase II trial for treatment of
multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer. These clinical trials are currently
being held in more than 140 clinical institutions in Canada, the U.S. and
several European countries.

AEterna also owns 64% of its subsidiary Atrium Biotechnologies, a leading
company specializing in the development and marketing of innovative ingredients
in the fields of cosmetics, nutrition, fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

AEterna shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (AEL) and the Nasdaq

News releases and additional information about AEterna are available on its Web
site at www.aeterna.com.


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 -


Paul Burroughs
Tel.: (418) 652-8525 ext. 406
Fax: (418) 577-7700
E-mail: paul.burroughs@aeterna.com

Jacques Raymond
Tel.: (418) 652-8525 ext. 360
Fax : (418) 577-7700
E-mail: jacques.raymond@aeterna.com

The Investor Relations Group
Lisa Lindberg
Tel.: (212) 825-3210
Fax: (212) 825-3229
E-mail: TheProTeam@aol.com

Enc.: Financial Summary

(expressed in Canadian dollars)

                                              QUARTER ENDED              TWELVE MONTHS ENDED
                                               DECEMBER 31                   DECEMBER 31
CONSOLIDATED RESULTS                      2001            2000            2001         2000
Unaudited                                   $              $                $            $
                                      -------------   ------------      ----------   -----------
                                                       (RESTATED)                    (RESTATED)

Revenues                              20,204,000       2,331,000        43,777,000     8,405,000
                                      -------------   ------------      ----------   -----------

Cost of sales                         15,350,000         319,000        29,950,000     1,124,000
Selling and administrative             2,797,000       1,038,000         6,498,000     2,575,000
Research and development costs         8,175,000       7,108,000        29,223,000    22,637,000
R&D tax credits and grants              (629,000)     (1,965,000)       (5,989,000)   (6,717,000)
Depreciation and amortization            615,000         478,000         1,850,000     1,453,000
                                      -------------   ------------      ----------   -----------
                                      26,308,000       6,978,000        61,532,000    21,072,000
                                      -------------   ------------      ----------   -----------

Operating loss                        (6,104,000)     (4,647,000)      (17,755,000)  (12,667,000)

Interest income                        1,066,000       1,032,000         3,763,000     3,615,000
Interest expenses                       (254,000)       (573,000)         (853,000)     (606,000)
                                      -------------   ------------      ----------   -----------
                                      (5,292,000)     (4,188,000)      (14,845,000)   (9,658,000)

Income tax recovery                    5,034,000           --            4,752,000         --
Gain on dilution                          --               --           10,224,000         --
Non-controlling interest               2,499,000           --           (3,600,000)        --
                                      -------------   ------------      ----------   -----------
Net loss for the year                 (2,757,000)     (4,188,000)       (3,469,000)   (9,658,000)
                                      -------------   ------------      ----------   -----------
                                      -------------   ------------      ----------   -----------
               Basic and diluted           (0.08)          (0.14)           (0.11)         (0.33)
                                      -------------   ------------      ----------   -----------
                                      -------------   ------------      ----------   -----------

                                                   DECEMBER 31     December 31
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET                            2001            2000
                                                        $               $
                                                  --------------  --------------
Cash and short-term investments                       54,064,000   68,649,000
Working capital                                       61,464,000   70,831,000
Long-term debt                                        10,401,000    4,753,000
Redeembable common shares of the subsidiary               --       24,610,000
Non-controlling interest                              18,339,000       --
Shareholder Equity                                    78,619,000   64,394,000
Deficit                                               19,082,000   15,614,000


Issued and outstanding shares                                   32.8 MILLION
Fully diluted shares                                            33.9 MILLION

Market capitalization                                           $312 MILLION

Average daily transactions (12 months)                         48,831 SHARES