QUEBEC CITY and MONTREAL, March 3 /CNW Telbec/ - AEterna Zentaris Inc.
(NASDAQ: AEZS;TSX: AEZ), a global biopharmaceutical company focused on
endocrine therapy and oncology, and Paladin Labs Inc. (TSX: PLB), a leading
Canadian specialty pharmaceutical company, announced today that they have
entered into a definitive purchase and sale agreement with respect to all
rights related to the manufacture, production, distribution, marketing, sale
and/or use of miltefosine for an aggregate purchase price of Cdn$9.125 million
payable in cash, subject to certain post-closing purchase price adjustments.
Miltefosine, sold under the brand name Impavido(R) throughout the world,
recorded revenues of Euro 2.5 million in 2007. Completion of the transactions
contemplated by the purchase agreement is subject to customary closing
conditions, including the parties having received certain third-party consents
David J. Mazzo, Ph.D., President and CEO of AEterna Zentaris commented,
"Last fall, we put forth our new focused business strategy which included
identifying non-core assets and actively seeking to divest them as a way to
infuse non-dilutive funds into the Company. We are very pleased to have
entered into an agreement for the sale of the compound, miltefosine, and look
forward to consummating the deal in the near future."
"This transaction marks the first time that Paladin has acquired
international rights to a patented, medically important product", said
Jonathan Ross Goodman, President and CEO of Paladin Labs. "This transaction is
expected to be immediately accretive to earnings and it fits within our
broader strategy to grow Paladin's revenues beyond the Canadian border."
Miltefosine is a phosphocholine analogue currently marketed under the
brand name Impavido(R), the first oral drug for the treatment of visceral and
cutaneous leishmaniasis. Impavido(R) has been proven to be highly effective
and less toxic than current therapies. Other current available treatments are
liposomal amphotericin (Ambisome(R)) and Paromomycin.
Leishmaniasis is an infectious disease transmitted by the bite of the
phlebotomine sandfly. The cutaneous form of the disease normally produces skin
ulcers on the exposed parts of the body such as the face, arms and legs. The
visceral form - also known as kala azar - is characterized by irregular bouts
of fever, substantial weight loss, swelling of the spleen and liver, and
anemia (occasionally serious).
According to the World Health Organization, the disease is endemic in 88
countries with nearly 350 million people at risk. If untreated, visceral
leishmaniasis can result in death within 6 months to 2 years. There are more
than one million new cases per year of cutaneous leishmaniasis and an
estimated prevalence of 12 million people already infected.
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 www.aezsinc.com
About Paladin Labs Inc.
Paladin Labs Inc., headquartered in Montreal, Canada, is a specialty
pharmaceutical company focused on acquiring or in-licensing innovative
pharmaceutical products for the Canadian market. With this strategy, a focused
national sales team and proven marketing expertise, Paladin has evolved into
one of Canada's leading specialty pharmaceutical companies. For more
information, please visit the Company's web site at www.paladinlabs.com
These forward-looking statements, by their nature, necessarily involve
risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially
from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Both AEterna
Zentaris and Paladin Labs "The Companies" consider the assumptions on which
these forward-looking statements are based to be reasonable at the time they
were prepared, but caution that these assumptions regarding the future events,
many of which are beyond the control of the Companies and their subsidiaries,
may ultimately prove to be incorrect. Factors and risks, which could cause
actual results to differ materially from current expectations, are discussed
in the annual reports, as well as in the Companies' Annual Information Forms
for the year ended December 31, 2006. The Companies disclaim any intention or
respective obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements
whether a result of new information, future events, or except as required by
law. For additional information on risks and uncertainties relating to these
forward-looking statements, investors should consult the Companies' respective
ongoing quarterly filings, annual reports and Annual Information Forms and
other filings found on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
For further information:
For further information: Paladin Labs: Samira Sakhia, Chief Financial
Officer, (514) 340-5067, (514) 344-4675 (FAX), firstname.lastname@example.org;
www.paladinlabs.com; AEterna Zentaris: Jenene Thomas, Senior Director,
Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, (908) 626-5509,
email@example.com; Paul Burroughs, Media Relations, (418) 652-8525 ext. 406,