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AEterna Zentaris Discloses Preliminary Phase 2 Trial Results for Perifosine in Combination with Radiotherapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Date:6/8/2009

QUEBEC CITY, June 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - AEterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: AEZS, TSX: AEZ), a global biopharmaceutical company focused on endocrine therapy and oncology, today disclosed preliminary results for the Company's European multi-center Phase 2 trial in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with its novel, first-in-class, oral signal transduction inhibitor compound, perifosine. In 177 patients receiving radiotherapy for inoperable NSCLC, this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial assessed the radioenhancing activity and safety of perifosine co-administration.

About the Phase 2 Trial

Starting one week before the onset of a 4-week course of radiotherapy (51 Gy in 17 fractions), patients with non-metastatic but inoperable NSCLC, mainly Stage III, received a 5-week course of 150 mg perifosine daily or placebo. After end of radiotherapy, patients were followed up to determine the time to tumor recurrence or progression in the area that had been irradiated, the so called "local control". The primary endpoint of this trial was the extent and duration of local control, specifically the proportion of patients with absence of recurrence or progression 12 months after the end of treatment. The study was planned under the basic assumption that radiotherapy alone would result in a 35% local control rate, one year after end of therapy in the placebo group. It was hypothesized that the addition of perifosine would sensitize tumor cells to the tumor-killing effect of the radiotherapy, leading to a 15% higher rate of local control. Secondary efficacy parameters included the times to loco-regional or distant/systemic failure, the tumor response rate, and overall survival. Safety investigations included the monitoring of clinical laboratory, electrocardiograms, lung function, and adverse events.

The trial was conducted in
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SOURCE AETERNA ZENTARIS INC.
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