June 8, 2009
Æterna Zentaris Acquires All Assets from Ardana for Growth Hormone Secretagogue Compound, AEZS-130
All amounts are in US dollars
Quebec City, Canada, June 8, 2009 - Æterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: AEZS; TSX: AEZ), a global biopharmaceutical company focused on endocrine therapy and oncology, today reported that after regaining from Ardana Biosciences Ltd. ("Ardana"), the worldwide rights to the growth hormone secretagogue ("GHS") / ghrelin agonist, AEZS-130, it has entered into an agreement with the administrators of Ardana to acquire all Ardana assets relating to AEZS-130 for $232,000. These assets include development data, inventory of compound, regulatory authorizations, including IND and orphan drug status as a diagnostic test granted in the United States, as well as a patent application protecting the use of AEZS-130 for the diagnostic of growth hormone secretion deficiency.
Ardana had developed AEZS-130 up to the initiation of Phase 3 clinical trials in the United States for use as an oral diagnostic test of growth hormone secretion deficiency. In addition to the diagnostic indication, AEZS-130, based on results of Phase 1 studies conducted by Ardana, has potential applications for the treatment of cachexia, a condition frequently associated with severe chronic diseases such as cancer, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and AIDS.
"We are pleased to gain access to a project in an advanced development stage," said Juergen Engel, Ph.D., President and CEO of Æterna Zentaris. "Our product portfolio is now complemented with an additional project in Phase 3 clinical trials. We are confident that we can retain the interest of potential strategic partners for this project as we have already initiated partnering discussions."
AEZS-130 Poster Presentation at ENDO
The poster #P2-749 entitled, "Use of an oral GHS ghrelin-mimetic GHS as a simple diagnostic test for adult GH deficiency", G.R. Merriam, K.C.J. Yuen, P. Asberry, .V Bonert, A. Dobs, J.M. Garcia, M. Kipnes, M. Kletke, M. Molitch, R. Swerdloff, C. Wang, D. Cook and B.M.K. Biller, presents the first clinical data relating to the use of AEZS-130 as a simple diagnostic test for adult growth hormone deficiency. Data showed that in adult growth hormone deficient patients, the responses to the orally administered AEZS-130 compound were comparable to currently validated agents and cleanly separated patients from normal control subjects.
The poster will be presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society on Thursday, June 11, 2009, in the Halls A&B of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, in Washington, DC.
About Æterna Zentaris Inc.
Æterna Zentaris Inc. is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on endocrine therapy and oncology, with proven expertise in drug discovery, development and commercialization. News releases and additional information are available at www.aezsinc.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements 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 business opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry, uncertainties related to the regulatory process and general changes in economic conditions. Investors should consult the Company’s 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, and we disclaim any obligation to update any such factors or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect future results, events or developments except if we are requested to do so by a governmental authority or applicable law.
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