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AEterna Zentaris to Present Data Supporting Evaluation of AEZS-108 in Prostate Cancer at Upcoming ASCO Meeting

    Partner Keryx to present Phase 2 data on perifosine for multiple cancers

QUEBEC CITY, May 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - AEterna Zentaris Inc. (TSX: AEZ; Nasdaq: AEZS), a global biopharmaceutical company focused on endocrine therapy and oncology, today announced that results supporting the evaluation of its targeted cytotoxic peptide conjugate compound, AEZS-108, in prostate cancer, will be presented as a poster at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, to be held May 29 through June 2, 2009 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.


Results presented are important for the expansion of potential indications for AEZS-108. While clinical investigations so far focused on gynaecological indications, the new results show continued expression of Luteinizing Hormone Releasing Hormone (LHRH) receptors in prostate cancer specimens after prolonged use of LHRH agonists; these data provide further support to the investigation of the drug in hormone-refractory prostate cancer, a major genitourinary cancer indication in male patients.

Abstract selected for presentation is as follows:

Genitourinary Cancer

Sunday, May 31, 2009:

# 5103: Expression of LHRH receptors in prostate cancer cells prior to therapy, following castration, or following treatment with LHRH agonists

Lead Author: Stephen Liu, MD

Poster Session: 2 pm - 6 pm (Level 2, West Hall C)


Additionally, AEterna Zentaris' partner, Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, announced yesterday that it will present four posters on the Akt-inhibitor compound, perifosine, during the ASCO meeting. Keryx is currently developing perifosine in multiple Phase 2 trials for various types of cancer. All of the clinical data presented demonstrate the potential efficacy of perifosine, both as a single agent and in combination with other approved agents, in the treatment of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma, colorectal cancer and GIST (gastrointestinal stromal tumors).

Abstracts selected for presentation are as follows:

Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC)

Friday, May 29, 2009

#5034: Phase 2 study of perifosine in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) progressing after prior therapy (Rx) with a VEGF receptor inhibitor.

Lead Author: Nicholas Vogelzang, MD

Poster Discussion: 5 pm - 6 pm (Level 2, West Hall F5)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

#5101: A Phase 2 trial of perifosine in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC), who have failed tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI).

Lead Author: Daniel Cho, MD

Poster Session: 2 pm - 6 pm (Level 2, West Hall C)

Colorectal Cancer

Sunday, May 31, 2009

#4081: Randomized Phase 2 study of perifosine in combination with capecitabine versus capecitabine alone in patients with second- or third-line metastatic colon cancer.

Lead Author: Sasha Vukelja, MD

Poster Session: 8 am - 12 pm (Level 2, West Hall C)

Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST)

Sunday, May 31, 2009:

#10563: A randomized Phase 2 study of perifosine (P) plus imatinib for patients with imatinib-resistant gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST).

Lead Author: Anthony Conley, MD

Poster Session: 2 pm - 6 pm (Level 2, West Hall C)

Copies of all of these abstracts are currently available and can be viewed on-line through the ASCO website:

About AEterna Zentaris Inc.

AEterna 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

Forward-Looking Statements

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 AEterna Zentaris' 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 disclaims 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 by a governmental authority or applicable law.

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