All amounts are in U.S. dollars
QUÉBEC CITY, Dec. 1, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: AEZS) (TSX: AEZ) (the "Company") and Sinopharm A-Think Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. ("SinopharmA-Think") today announced the signing of an exclusive license and technology transfer agreement, for the Company's lead anti-cancer compound, zoptarelin doxorubicin, for the initial indication of endometrial cancer, for the Chinese, Hong Kong and Macau markets (the "Territory"). Zoptarelin doxorubicin, a novel synthetic peptide carrier linked to doxorubicin, is currently in a ZoptEC (Zoptarelin doxorubicin in Endometrial Cancer) Phase 3 trial in endometrial cancer.
Under the terms of the Master Collaboration Agreement, Aeterna Zentaris will be entitled to receive a non‑refundable $1 million fee for the transfer of the Company's technology for zoptarelin doxorubicin to SinopharmA-Think. SinopharmA-Think has also agreed to make additional payments to the Company upon achieving certain pre-established regulatory and commercial milestones. Furthermore, the Company will receive royalties on future net sales of zoptarelin doxorubicin in the Territory. SinopharmA-Think will be responsible for the development, production, registration and commercialization of the product in the Territory.
David Dodd, Chairman and CEO at Aeterna Zentaris stated, "We are very excited regarding this agreement for zoptarelin doxorubicin with Sinopharm, the largest pharmaceutical company in China, which is one of the major domestic markets in the world for pharmaceutical products. Women with advanced endometrial cancer are in need of additional treatments, and zoptarelin doxorubicin might prove to be a significant treatment option for them. This agreement is also consistent with our strategy of leveraging our pipeline to secure future revenues with strategic development and commercial licensees for specific regions of the world."
Dr. Jia Zhidan, General Manager of Sinopharm A-Think, similarly indicated that, "We believe zoptarelin doxorubicin can pioneer the use of conjugate technology in advanced endometrial cancer, as earlier clinical development with this product has shown encouraging data in overall survival and tolerability. We also believe that zoptarelin doxorubicin has the potential to become our star product in the future. As an enterprise committed to building up a professional anti-cancer platform, we would like to look for additional promising products such as zoptarelin doxorubicin, and are more than willing to cooperate with excellent companies such as Aeterna Zentaris. We hope to engage additional cooperation opportunities in the future, benefitting more cancer patients."
About Zoptarelin Doxorubicin
Zoptarelin doxorubicin represents a new targeting concept in oncology using a hybrid molecule composed of a synthetic peptide carrier and a well-known chemotherapy agent, doxorubicin. Zoptarelin doxorubicin is the first intravenous drug in advanced clinical development that directs the chemotherapy agent specifically to LHRH-receptor expressing tumors, resulting in a more targeted treatment with less damage to healthy tissue. The Company is currently conducting a ZoptEC (Zoptarelin doxorubicin in Endometrial Cancer) Phase 3 trial in women with advanced, recurrent or metastatic endometrial cancer, while zoptarelin doxorubicin is also in an investigator-initiated Phase 2 trial in prostate cancer. Aeterna Zentaris owns the worldwide (ex-China, Hong Kong and Macau) rights to this compound.
About Sinopharm A-Think Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. ("SinopharmA-Think")
China National Pharmaceutical Group Corporation ("Sinopharm") is the largest medical and healthcare group in China and on the Global Fortune 500 list, which is directly managed by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council ("SASAC"), with the core businesses of distribution, logistics, retail, scientific research and manufacturing of healthcare related products. In 2013, the gross revenue of Sinopharm exceeded $33.3 billion. For more information, visit www.sinopharm.com.
Sinopharm A-Think is a subsidiary of Sinopharm. Sinipharm A-Think focuses on the development of injectable anti-tumor and anti-hepatitis products, and is the only integrated platform for R&D and manufacturing of anti-tumor and anti-virus drugs within Sinopharm, with a complete system of anti-cancer drug R&D, manufacturing and sales throughout China.
About Aeterna Zentaris Inc.
Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty biopharmaceutical company engaged in developing and commercializing novel treatments in oncology, endocrinology and women's health. For more information, visit www.aezsinc.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the US Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that 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 risk that safety and efficacy data from any of our Phase 3 trials may not coincide with the data analyses from previously reported Phase 1 and/or Phase 2 clinical trials, the ability of the Company to efficiently commercialize one or more of its products or product candidates, 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 US securities commissions for additional information on risks and uncertainties relating to 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, unless required to do so by a governmental authority or by applicable law.
SOURCE: Aeterna Zentaris Inc.