AEterna Zentaris Discloses In Vivo Data for its GHRH Antagonist JMR-132 at the AACR Annual Meeting in Los Angeles



    JMR-132 could provide a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of
    early and metastatic breast cancer

    QUEBEC CITY, April 17 /CNW Telbec/ - AEterna Zentaris Inc. (TSX: AEZ;
Nasdaq:   AEZS), a global, pure play biopharmaceutical company focused on
endocrine therapy and oncology, today presented an abstract outlining in vivo
data for its growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) antagonist JMR-132 in
breast cancer, at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual
Meeting being held this week at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los
Angeles, California.

    Results

    The poster #3568 "GHRH-Antagonist in Combination with Docetaxel
Chemotherapy induces regression of MX-1 human experimental breast cancers,"
reviewed preclinical results in breast cancer for JMR-132, the Company's GHRH
antagonist which binds to splice variants of the GHRH receptors found on
various cancerous tumors. More specifically, the authors reported on the
antitumor activity of JMR-132 in MX-1 human experimental,
doxorubicin-resistant breast cancers, as well as on the anti-proliferative
effect of JMR-132 in combination with docetaxel, which is frequently used for
the treatment of early and metastatic breast cancer.
    Binding sites were found for GHRH in the MX-1 human breast cancer cell
line. The treatment of nude mice bearing MX-1 xenografts with JMR-132 at the
dose of 10 (micro)g/day s.c. significantly (p(less than)0.05) inhibited tumor
growth, as shown by a 62.9% decrease in tumor volume and 47.8% reduction in
tumor weight. Docetaxel at a single dose of 20 mg/kg i.p. significantly
reduced tumor volume and weight by 74.1% and 58.6 %, respectively. Combination
treatment with JMR-132 and docetaxel led to growth arrest of most MX-1 tumors,
evidenced by an inhibition of tumor volume and weight by 97.7 %and 95.6 %
respectively (p(less than)0.001).

    Conclusions

    
    - JMR-132 inhibits doxorubicin resistant in MX-1 human breast cancers
    - JMR-132 induces growth arrest or total regression when combined with
      docetaxel chemotherapy
    - JMR-132 could provide a new therapeutic approach to the treatment of
      early and metastatic breast cancer
    

    "We are very pleased and encouraged with these results we have seen to
date with JMR-132 which lend further credibility to our very promising
oncology platform. By targeting patients suffering from breast cancer with
confirmed GHRH receptor status, we believe we may increase our chances of
success in future development programs with JMR-132 in this indication. This
targeted approach is an additional example of personalized therapy which is
becoming more and more the way of the future," said Dr. Jurgen Engel,
Executive Vice President, Global R&D and COO of AEterna Zentaris.

    About AEterna Zentaris Inc.

    AEterna Zentaris Inc. is a global, pure play 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.aeternazentaris.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. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements preceded
by, followed by, or that include the words "believes", "anticipates",
"intends", "plans", "expects", "estimates", "will," "may", "should",
"approximately", and the negative or other variations of those terms or
comparable terminology, are forward-looking statements. Such statements
reflect management's current views, intentions, strategies and plans and are
based on certain assumptions.
    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 ability of AEterna Zentaris to
implement its business strategies, the availability of funds and resources to
pursue R&D projects, the successful and timely completion of clinical studies,
the ability of AEterna Zentaris 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.




For further information:

For further information: Jenene Thomas, Senior Director, Investor
Relations & Corporate Communications, (418) 655-6420,
jenene.thomas@aeternazentaris.com; Paul Burroughs, Media Relations (418)
652-8525 ext. 406, paul.burroughs@aeternazentaris.com

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Aeterna Zentaris Inc.

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