Æterna Zentaris Announces Appointment of New Board Member

QUEBEC CITY, Dec. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Æterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: AEZS; TSX: AEZ) (the "Company"), a global biopharmaceutical company focused on endocrine therapy and oncology, is pleased to announce the appointment of Pierre Lapalme to its Board of Directors. A seasoned professional in the pharmaceutical industry, Mr. Lapalme has over the course of his career held numerous senior management positions in various global life sciences companies. He is former Senior Vice-President, Sales and Marketing for Ciba-Geigy (which subsequently became Novartis) and former Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Rhone-Poulenc Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Canada and in North America, as well as Executive Vice-President and Chief Executive Officer of Rhone-Poulenc-Rorer Inc. North America (now sanofi aventis), where he supervised the development, manufacturing and sales of prescription products in North and Central America. Mr. Lapalme served on the Board of the National Pharmaceutical Council USA and was a Board member of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Canada, where he played a leading role in reinstituting patent protection for pharmaceuticals. Until recently, he was Board member and Chairman of the Board of Sciele Pharma Inc. which was acquired by Shionogi and Co. Ltd. Mr. Lapalme is currently Chairman of the Board of Biomarin, Inc. He studied at the University of Western Ontario and at INSEAD, France.

"Mr. Lapalme has a proven track record and extensive background in the pharmaceutical industry", said Juergen Ernst, Executive Chairman of Æterna Zentaris. "We believe that his wealth of experience in drug development as well as in sales and marketing will be of great assistance to us as we focus on bringing our late-stage oncology compounds closer to market."

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.

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 required by a governmental authority or applicable law.

SOURCE Aeterna Zentaris Inc.

For further information: For further information: Investor Relations: Dennis Turpin, SVP and CFO, (418) 652-8525, ext. 242, dturpin@aezsinc.com; Media Relations: Paul Burroughs, Director of Communications, (418) 652-8525, ext. 406, pburroughs@aezsinc.com

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Aeterna Zentaris Inc.

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