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Neurogen Announces Milestone Payment From Merck Under Pain Management Drug Alliance

BRANFORD, Conn., May 27, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Neurogen Corporation (Nasdaq: NRGN), a drug discovery and development company, announced today that progress in its research and development alliance with Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) to discover and develop next-generation drugs for the treatment of pain has resulted in the achievement of a preclinical milestone which triggers an undisclosed payment from Merck. The alliance, closed January 16, 2004, enables Merck and Neurogen to pool drug candidates targeting the vanilloid receptor (VR1), a key integrator of pain signals in the nervous system, and combine their ongoing VR1 programs to form a global research and development collaboration.

William H. Koster, President and CEO of Neurogen, said, "Together Merck and Neurogen are tackling a challenging and exciting new target implicated in the transmission of pain signals. Drugs acting on this target may make a real difference in the lives of patients suffering from several different pain states. The milestone achieved is an indication that we are making significant progress toward that goal. Our alliance with Merck also underscores the value of our proprietary discovery platform, which we are applying to a number of new therapeutic areas."

About Neurogen

Neurogen Corporation targets new small molecule drugs to improve the lives of patients suffering from disorders with significant unmet medical need, currently: inflammation, pain, insomnia, depression, and obesity. Neurogen continues to generate a portfolio of compelling new drug candidates through its Accelerated Intelligent Drug Discovery (AIDD(TM)) system, its expertise in cellular functional assays, and its depth in medicinal chemistry. The Company conducts its drug research and clinical development independently or, on selected programs collaborates with world-class pharmaceutical companies to access complementary expertise.

Neurogen Safe Harbor Statement

The information in this press release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties as detailed from time to time in Neurogen's SEC filings, including its most recent Form 10-K. Actual results may differ materially from the statements made as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, risks associated with the inherent uncertainty of drug research and development, difficulties or delays in development, testing, regulatory approval, production and marketing of any of the Company's drug candidates, adverse side effects or inadequate therapeutic efficacy of the Company's drug candidates, advancement of competitive products, dependence on corporate partners, sufficiency of cash to fund the Company's planned operations and patent, product liability and third party reimbursement risks associated with the pharmaceutical industry.

SOURCE Neurogen Corporation

Elaine Grimsell Beckwith of Neurogen Corp., +1-203-315-4615,
elaine_beckwith@nrgn.com

http://www.neurogen.com