PRESS RELEASE
                                                          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC, APRIL 9, 2002 -- AEterna Laboratories Inc. (TSE: AEL,
NASDAQ: AELA) today announced the conclusion of private placements to SGF Sante,
Solidarity Fund QFL, and Acqua Wellington Private Placement Fund, Ltd. for an
initial amount of $57 million. From this amount, approximately $35 million will
be used for the acquisition of innovative technologies or companies in cancer,
$20 million for further development of Neovastat, which has reached the final
stage of clinical studies in kidney and lung cancer, and $2 million for general
corporate purposes.


The first private placement to SGF Sante and Solidarity Fund QFL consists of
AEterna issuing 7.3 million subordinate voting shares, at a price of $7.50 per
share, as well as 7.3 million warrants. Half of these warrants are exercisable
at $13 per share, representing a premium of 73%, and will mature on March 31,
2003. The other half of these warrants are exercisable at an initial price of
$20 per share, representing a premium of 167%, and will mature initially on
December 31, 2003, subject to certain conditions.


The second private placement to Acqua Wellington Private Placement Fund, Ltd.
consists of AEterna issuing 266,667 subordinate voting shares, at a price of
$7.50 per share, as well as 133,333 warrants exercisable at $13 per share,
representing a premium of 73% and maturing on March 31, 2003.

In the event that AEterna's shares are traded at more than $20 on the stock
market for twenty consecutive days, SGF Sante, Solidarity Fund QFL, and Acqua
Wellington Private Placement Fund, Ltd. will have ten days to exercise all

These investments, combined with the full exercise of warrants, could represent
a total investment of approximately $180 million in AEterna over the next
20 months.

"With these investments of $57 million, we now have close to $100 million in
cash, placing us in a strong position to pursue our strategy related to
acquiring innovative technologies in oncology, and to accelerate Neovastat's
development," stated Dr. Eric Dupont, AEterna's Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer. "We are indeed privileged to be able to count on such select partners
to accompany us in the realization of our growth strategy."

"Considering SGF Sante's mission, we believe that this is an opportune time to
invest in AEterna," said Dr. Francis Bellido, President and Chief Operating
Officer of SGF Sante. "We are confident that, with Neovastat, AEterna has the
necessary assets to become a key player in the fight against cancer, a major
medical issue."

Dr. Dupont also announced that Dr. Bellido will henceforth sit as a member of
AEterna's Board of Directors.

"AEterna represents Canada's flagship biotech in cancer, and has attained the
level of maturity that will enable it to realize acquisitions to ensure its
long-term growth," said Dr. Jean-Denis Dubois, Investment Manager, Health and
Biotechnology, of Solidarity Fund QFL. "We are, and have been a significant
shareholder in AEterna for a number of years, and we wish to further contribute
to its growth."

"We are proud to join forces with AEterna, and to participate actively in its
global business opportunities," explained Isser Elishis, Acqua Wellington's
Chief Investment Officer.


SGF Sante is a subsidiary of Societe generale de financement du Quebec (SGF).
SGF's mission is to implement economic development projects within normal
profitability conditions, in cooperation with partners. Since its restructuring
in 1998, SGF has generated investments of nearly $4.4 billion, and has created
over 19,400 direct and indirect jobs in projects which reached their operational
phase, in addition to creating thousands of jobs during the construction phase.
As of September 30, 2001, SGF's consolidated assets exceeded $2.9 billion. SGF
has 57 international partners operating different corporations in the Province
of Quebec (www.sgfqc.com).

Following this investment, SGF Sante holds 4 million subordinate voting shares
of the Company, representing approximately 11.24% of the currently outstanding
subordinate voting shares, or 20.20% assuming only the exercise of the warrants
held by SGF.


With net assets of over $4 billion, Solidarity Fund QFL is an investment fund
that draws on the savings of Quebecers, more specifically through its RRSPs,
in order to contribute to job creation and maintenance in companies, and to
participate in Quebec's economic development. The Fund now boasts some
500,000 shareholders and has participated, alone or with other financial
partners, in the creation, maintenance and support of over 93,000 jobs

Following this investment, Solidarity Fund QFL holds 4,996,525 subordinate
voting shares of the Company, representing approximately 14.04% of the currently
outstanding subordinate voting shares, or 21.40% assuming only the exercise of
the warrants held by Solidarity Fund QFL.


Acqua Wellington manages a range of funds targeting investment opportunities in
publicly-traded companies, with low and medium capitalization, on the national
and international scene, especially in the fields of technology and health
sciences. Since its inception in January 2000, Acqua Wellington has invested
more than US$1 billion in healthcare in the United States.


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

Neovastat is currently undergoing two Phase III 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 Inc., a leading
company specializing in the development, marketing and distribution 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 (AELA).

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                             Jacques Raymond
Tel.: (418) 652-8525 ext. 406              Tel.: (418) 652-8525 ext. 360
Fax: (418) 577-7700                        Fax: (418) 577-7700
E-mail: paul.burroughs@aeterna.com         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