AEterna Zentaris Presents Phase 1 Results for AEZS-112 in Patients with Advanced Cancer and Lymphoma at AACR Annual Meeting in Denver

    QUEBEC CITY, April 22 /CNW Telbec/ - AEterna Zentaris Inc. (TSX: AEZ;
Nasdaq:   AEZS), a global biopharmaceutical company focused on endocrine therapy
and oncology, today presented a poster outlining Phase 1 results for its
orally-active tubulin and topoisomerase II inhibitor compound, AEZS-112, in
patients with advanced solid tumors or lymphoma, which may potentially provide
a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of cancer. The poster was
presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual
Meeting in Denver, Colorado.
    The poster (#5567) entitled, "Phase I dose-escalation, safety, and
pharmacokinetic study on weekly oral AEZS-112, a small molecule anti-cancer
agent in patients with advanced cancer and lymphoma", D.W. Northfelt, reviewed
results of this Phase I study designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability
and pharmacokinetics of ascending doses of AEZS-112 in patients with the
above-mentioned forms of cancer.


    In part I, 22 patients (12 men/10 women) were studied on 7 dose levels
ranging from 13 to 800 mg/week. In all, 62 treatment cycles were administered.
In part II, 22 patients (12 men/10 women) were studied on 5-dose levels
ranging from 120 to 600 (=200x3) mg/week. As of April 1, 2009, 62 treatment
cycles were administered (mean 3.2/patient); treatment was ongoing in 8
patients. Stable disease (SD) for more than 12 weeks was observed in 16
patients; 4 more patients were ongoing at less than 12 weeks. Prolonged
courses of SD ranging from 20 to 39+ weeks were observed in 9 patients with
the following primary cancer types: trachea (39+), tongue (30+), thyroid
(29+), prostate and melanoma (28), non-small cell lung cancer (26+), pancreas
and 2x colorectal (20).
    Except for one patient with a background of gastrointestinal problems
(GI) who had dose-limiting GI reactions and electrolyte loss at a dose of
200x3mg/week, no clinically relevant drug-related adverse events or changes in
laboratory parameters were observed. AEZS-112 was shown to be metabolically
stable in human plasma. As predicted by pharmacokinetic modelling based on
data from part I of the study, the split-dose scheme leads to a higher Cmax
and trough values after administration of comparable doses.


    - AEZS-112 was well tolerated over repeated treatment courses;
    - So far, a maximum tolerated dose for weekly dosing has not been
      defined; and
    - Prolonged courses of stable disease in both parts of the study are an
      encouraging observation.

    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

    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
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uncertainties include, among others, the availability of funds and resources
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reflect future results, events or developments except if we are requested by a
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For further information:

For further information: Investor Relations: Ginette Vallières, Investor
Relations Coordinator, (418) 652-8525, ext. 265,; Media
Relations: Paul Burroughs, Director of Communications, (418) 652-8525, ext.

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