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Aeterna Zentaris Reports Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2007 Financial and Operating Results
Date:3/5/2008

Year marked by strengthened leadership team and the initiation of Phase 3

program for cetrorelix in BPH

All amounts are in U.S. dollars

QUEBEC CITY, March 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: AEZS, TSX: AEZ), a global biopharmaceutical company focused on endocrinology and oncology, today reported financial and operating results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2007.

David J. Mazzo, Ph.D., Aeterna Zentaris' President and Chief Executive Officer commented, "2007 was a challenging year; a year marked by important changes to both our corporate structure and business plan. The result has given our stakeholders a sharper image of our objectives and ongoing priorities. 2007 also involved a great deal of groundbreaking, marking for example, the first time our team launched an international Phase 3 program as is the case for cetrorelix in BPH. Another first was the opening of our offices in New Jersey as part of our strategy to gain more exposure with the pharmaceutical and financial communities in the United States. Furthermore, following the appointment of three new key executives during the year, we now have a team of the highest level in clinical research, regulatory affairs, business development, pharmaceutical discovery, development and commercialization - vital assets for the successful pre-launch activities for cetrorelix, as well as for the thrust of our entire pipeline.

Moving forward, we will continue to strive to expose the depth, breadth and potential of our robust pipeline and will diligently execute our business plan with the primary objective of creating value for our shareholders."

CONSOLIDATED RESULTS FOR THE FOURTH QUARTER ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2007

Consolidated revenues were $10.2 million for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2007 compared to $11.9 million for the same quarter in 2006. The decrease in revenues is attributable to lower sales of Impavido(R), as well as active pharmaceutical ingredients to the Company's partners, combined with lower license fees from the Company's partners.

Selling, General and Administrative (SG&A) expenses were $5.1 million for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2007 compared to $4.2 million for the same quarter in 2006. The increase in SG&A is mainly related to the support of the continuation of a Phase 3 program with cetrorelix in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and the opening of a new operational headquarters in New Jersey.

Consolidated Research & Development (R&D) expenses were $13.6 million for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2007 compared to $7.9 million for the same quarter in 2006. The increase in R&D expenses relates to the continuation of the Company's Phase 3 program with cetrorelix in BPH.

Consolidated net loss was $13.6 million or $0.26 per basic and diluted share for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2007 compared to consolidated net earnings of $39.1 million or $0.74 per basic and diluted share for the same quarter in 2006. The increased net loss in the fourth quarter 2007 is related to higher loss from operations of nearly $5.2 million mainly related to increased R&D expenses, as well as to lower income tax recovery of nearly $28.4 million attributable to the recognition of future income tax assets mainly related to the sale of Atrium shares in 2006 and the special distribution of the Company's remaining interest in January 2007, combined with the decrease in net earnings from Atrium's discontinued operations of approximately $16.3 million.

The consolidated cash and short-term investments were $41.4 million as of December 31, 2007.

CONSOLIDATED RESULTS FOR THE FULL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2007

Consolidated revenues for the year ended December 31, 2007 were $42.1 million compared to $38.8 million for the same period in 2006. The increase in revenues for 2007 is mainly related to increased sales of Cetrotide(R) and Impavido(R), partly compensated by lower license fees revenues from the Company's partners.

Consolidated R&D costs were $39.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2007 compared to $27.4 million for the same period in 2006. The increase in R&D expenses of $11.8 million in 2007 is mainly related to the advancement of the Company's lead product cetrorelix in Phase 3 for BPH; as well as to further advancement of targeted, earlier-stage development programs including AEZS-108, a cytotoxic conjugate and AEZS-112, a tubulin inhibitor.

Consolidated loss from operations increased to $34.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2007 compared to $23.8 million for the same period in 2006. The increase in loss from operations in 2007 is attributable to a combination of lower license revenues, increase in non-recurring G&A corporate expenses and additional R&D expenses mainly related to the advancement of the Company's Phase 3 program with cetrorelix in BPH. This increase in loss from operations in 2007 was partly offset by increased sales and royalties, as well as lower D&A expenses.

Consolidated net loss was $32.3 million or $0.61 per basic and diluted share for the year ended December 31, 2007 compared to consolidated net earnings of $33.4 million or $0.64 per basic share and $0.62 per diluted share for the same period in 2006. The increased net loss in 2007 is related to a higher loss from operations of nearly $10 million, lower income tax recovery of nearly $27 million related to the recognition of future income tax assets, mainly attributable to the sale of Atrium shares in 2006, and the special distribution of AEterna Zentaris' remaining interest in January 2007, as well as lower net earnings from discontinued operations of Atrium of nearly $26 million.

CONFERENCE CALL

Management will be hosting a conference call for the investment community beginning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time today, Wednesday, March 5, to discuss fourth quarter and full-year 2007 results.

To participate in the live conference call by telephone, please dial 416-644-3425, 514-807-8791 or 800-595-8550. Individuals interested in listening to the conference call on the Internet may do so by visiting http://www.aezsinc.com. A replay will be available on the Company's Web site for 30 days.

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 http://www.aezsinc.com.

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 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. 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 by a governmental authority or applicable law.

Attachment: Financial summary

(In thousands of

US dollars,

except share

and per share data)

Three months ended Year ended

CONSOLIDATED RESULTS December 31, December 31,

Unaudited 2007 2006 2007 2006

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

$ $ $ $

Revenues

Sales and royalties 6,435 6,800 28,825 25,123

License fees 3,705 5,137 12,843 13,652

Other 100 - 400 24

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

10,240 11,937 42,068 38,799

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operating expenses

Cost of sales, excluding

depreciation and

amortization 3,255 3,556 12,930 11,270

Selling, general and

administrative 5,146 4,159 20,403 16,478

R&D costs 13,574 7,926 39,248 27,422

R&D tax credits and grants (1,941) (1,442) (2,060) (1,564)

Depreciation and

amortization 1,135 4,195 5,566 8,964

Impairment of long-lived

asset held for sale 735 - 735 -

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

21,904 18,394 76,822 62,570

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Loss from operations (11,664) (6,457) (34,754) (23,771)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Other revenues (expenses)

Interest income 535 703 1,904 1,441

Interest expense (23) 14 (85) (1,433)

Foreign exchange gain

(loss) (269) 384 (1,035) 319

Loss on disposal of

equipment (28) - (28) -

Gain on disposal of

long-term investment - 409 - 409

Other - (163) - -

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

215 1,347 756 736

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Share in the results

of an affiliated

company - 1,575 - 1,575

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Loss before Income taxes (11,449) (3,535) (33,998) (21,460)

Income tax recovery

(expense) (2,405) 26,061 1,961 29,037

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Net earnings (loss) from

continuing operations (13,854) 22,526 (32,037) 7,577

Net earnings (loss) from

discontinued operations 218 16,575 (259) 25,813

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Net earnings (loss) for

the year (13,636) 39,101 (32,296) 33,390

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Net earnings (loss) per

share from continuing

operations

Basic and diluted (0.26) 0.42 (0.61) 0.14

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Net earnings (loss)

per share

Basic (0.26) 0.74 (0.61) 0.64

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Diluted (0.26) 0.74 (0.61) 0.62

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Weighted average number

of shares

Basic 53,182,803 52,694,868 53,182,803 52,099,290

Diluted 53,182,803 53,035,786 53,182,803 52,549,260

Issued and outstanding

shares 53,187,470 53,169,470

(In thousands of US dollars, except share

and per share data)

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET December December

31, 31,

Unaudited 2007 2006

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

$ $

Cash and short-term investments 41,387 60,489

Other current assets 18,193 41,234

----------------------

59,580 101,723

Long-term assets 63,783 121,768

----------------------

Total assets 123,363 223,491

----------------------

----------------------

Current liabilities 22,255 16,310

Long-term debt - 687

Other long-term liabilities 12,517 27,615

----------------------

34,772 44,612

Shareholders' equity 88,591 178,879

----------------------

Total liabilities and shareholders' equity 123,363 223,491

----------------------

----------------------


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SOURCE AETERNA ZENTARIS INC.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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