AEterna Zentaris to Present Data Supporting Evaluation of AEZS-108 in Prostate Cancer at Upcoming ASCO Meeting



    
    Partner Keryx to present Phase 2 data on perifosine for multiple cancers
    

    QUEBEC CITY, May 19 /CNW Telbec/ - AEterna Zentaris Inc. (TSX: AEZ;
Nasdaq:   AEZS), a global biopharmaceutical company focused on endocrine therapy
and oncology, today announced that results supporting the evaluation of its
targeted cytotoxic peptide conjugate compound, AEZS-108, in prostate cancer,
will be presented as a poster at the American Society of Clinical Oncology
(ASCO) Annual Meeting, to be held May 29 through June 2, 2009 at the Orange
County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

    AEZS-108

    Results presented are important for the expansion of potential
indications for AEZS-108. While clinical investigations so far focused on
gynaecological indications, the new results show continued expression of
Luteinizing Hormone Releasing Hormone (LHRH) receptors in prostate cancer
specimens after prolonged use of LHRH agonists; these data provide further
support to the investigation of the drug in hormone-refractory prostate
cancer, a major genitourinary cancer indication in male patients.

    Abstract selected for presentation is as follows:

    Genitourinary Cancer
    Sunday, May 31, 2009:

    No. 5103: Expression of LHRH receptors in prostate cancer cells prior to
therapy, following castration, or following treatment with LHRH agonists
    Lead Author: Stephen Liu, MD
    Poster Session: 2 pm - 6 pm (Level 2, West Hall C)

    Perifosine

    Additionally, AEterna Zentaris' partner, Keryx Biopharmaceuticals,
announced yesterday that it will present four posters on the Akt-inhibitor
compound, perifosine, during the ASCO meeting. Keryx is currently developing
perifosine in multiple Phase 2 trials for various types of cancer. All of the
clinical data presented demonstrate the potential efficacy of perifosine, both
as a single agent and in combination with other approved agents, in the
treatment of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma, colorectal cancer
and GIST (gastrointestinal stromal tumors).

    Abstracts selected for presentation are as follows:

    Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC)
    Friday, May 29, 2009

    No.5034: Phase 2 study of perifosine in metastatic renal cell carcinoma
(RCC) progressing after prior therapy (Rx) with a VEGF receptor inhibitor.
    Lead Author: Nicholas Vogelzang, MD
    Poster Discussion: 5 pm - 6 pm (Level 2, West Hall F5)

    Sunday, May 31, 2009

    No.5101: A Phase 2 trial of perifosine in patients with advanced renal
cell carcinoma (RCC), who have failed tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI).
    Lead Author:  Daniel Cho, MD
    Poster Session: 2 pm - 6 pm (Level 2, West Hall C)

    Colorectal Cancer
    Sunday, May 31, 2009

    No.4081: Randomized Phase 2 study of perifosine in combination with
capecitabine versus capecitabine alone in patients with second- or third-line
metastatic colon cancer.
    Lead Author: Sasha Vukelja, MD
    Poster Session: 8 am - 12 pm (Level 2, West Hall C)

    Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST)
    Sunday, May 31, 2009:

    No.10563: A randomized Phase 2 study of perifosine (P) plus imatinib for
patients with imatinib-resistant gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST).
    Lead Author: Anthony Conley, MD
    Poster Session: 2 pm - 6 pm (Level 2, West Hall C)

    Copies of all of these abstracts are 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 AEterna Zentaris' 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 disclaims 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.




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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