AEterna Zentaris Presents Data Supporting Evaluation of AEZS-108 in Prostate Cancer at ASCO Meeting



    QUEBEC CITY, June 1 /CNW Telbec/ - AEterna Zentaris Inc. (TSX: AEZ;
Nasdaq:   AEZS), a global biopharmaceutical company focused on endocrine therapy
and oncology, today announced that it presented results supporting the
evaluation of its targeted cytotoxic peptide conjugate compound, AEZS-108
(formerly AN-152), in prostate cancer. The presentation was made during
yesterday's poster session at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
Annual Meeting, being held through June 2, 2009 at the Orange County
Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.
    The poster (#5163) entitled, "Expression of LHRH receptors in prostate
cancer cells prior to therapy, following castration, or following treatment
with LHRH agonists," S. Liu, A. V. Schally, S. Xiong, R. Cote, D. Hawes, L.
Fazli, M. Gleave, J. Cai, F. Brands, J. Engel, J. Pinski, investigates the
expression of Luteinizing Hormone Releasing Hormone (LHRH) receptors following
prolonged exposure to LHRH agonists.
    "Results presented are important for the expansion of potential
indications for our anti-cancer compound, AEZS-108", stated Juergen Engel,
Ph.D., President and CEO of AEterna Zentaris. "While clinical investigations
so far focused on gynaecological indications, the new results show continued
expression of LHRH receptors in prostate cancer specimens after prolonged use
of LHRH agonists; these data provide further support to the investigation of
AEZS-108 in hormone-refractory prostate cancer, a major genitourinary cancer
indication in male patients."

    Results

    LHRH receptor expression was demonstrated in more than 95% of 130
prostate cancer specimens analyzed, irrespective of origin (primary tumor,
metastases) or patients' prior hormonal treatment (none, castration, LHRH
agonist). In all groups, the majority of specimens showed moderate to strong
receptor expression. Statistically, strong receptor expression correlated with
higher pathologic tumor stage and shorter overall survival.

    
    Conclusion

    - In virtually all patients with prostate cancer, tumor cells appear to
      express LHRH receptors;
    - Even tumors persisting or relapsing after castration or prolonged
      hormonal treatment with LHRH agonists retain the expression of LHRH
      receptors;
    - The continued expression of these receptors supports the concept of
      targeting prostatic LHRH receptors to deliver cytotoxic therapy based
      on LHRH analogs, such as AEZS-108.
    

    A copy of the abstract is currently available and can be viewed on-line
through the ASCO website: http://www.asco.org/.

    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.

    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, and 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 to
do so by a governmental authority or applicable law.




For further information:

For further information: Investor Relations: Ginette Vallières, Investor
Relations Coordinator, (418) 652-8525 ext. 265, gvallieres@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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