Aeterna Zentaris Announces Poster Presentations of Perifosine at the Upcoming 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology

QUÉBEC CITY, Dec. 2 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: AEZS, TSX: AEZ) today announced that multiple abstracts for perifosine have been selected for poster presentation at the upcoming 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology ("ASH"), to be held in Orlando, Florida, from December 4-7, 2010.

Presentation Schedule

Abstract   #1842:      "Pre-Clinical and Interim Results of a Phase II Trial of Perifosine in Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)"
First Author: Daphne R. Friedman, MD, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
Date and time: Saturday, December 4, 5:30-7:30 p.m. (Hall A3/A4)
Poster Board: I-822
   
Abstract #2861: "Clinical Activity and Safety of the Combined Therapy with the Akt Inhibitor Perifosine and the Multikinase Inhibitor Sorafenib in Heavily Pretreated Patients with Relapsed/Refractory Lymphomas: Preliminary Results of a Phase II Trial"
First Author: Carmelo Carlo-Stella, MD, Fondazione IRCCS Instituto Nazionale Tumori and University of Milano, Milano, Italy
Date and time: Sunday, December 5, 6:00 PM-8:00 PM (Hall A3/A4)
Poster Board: II-741
   
Abstract #3064: "Final Phase I Results of Perifosine in Combination with Lenalidomide and Dexamethasone in Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Multiple Myeloma (MM)"
First Author: Andrzej Jakubowiak, MD, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, MI
Date and time: Sunday, December 5, 6:00 PM-8:00 PM (Hall A3/A4)
Poster Board: II-944
   
Abstract #3911: "Perifosine Affects Phenotype and Function of Human Myeloid Dendritic Cells"
First Author: Weihua Song, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Date and time: Monday, December 6, 6:00 PM-8:00 PM (Hall A3/A4)
Poster Board: III-690

A copy of the above referenced abstracts can be viewed online through the ASH website at www.hematology.org

About Perifosine

Perifosine is a novel, oral anticancer treatment that inhibits Akt activation in the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway. The product works by interfering with membranes of cancer cells thereby inhibiting Akt signaling which then affects cell death, growth, differentiation and survival. Perifosine, in combination with chemotherapeutic agents, is currently being studied for the treatment of multiple myeloma, colorectal cancer and other cancers, and is the most advanced anticancer compound of its class in late-stage development. Perifosine,as monotherapy, is being explored in other indications. The US Food & Drug Administration ("FDA") has granted perifosine orphan-drug designation in multiple myeloma and neuroblastoma, and Fast Track designations in both multiple myeloma and refractory advanced colorectal cancer. Additionally, an agreement was reached with the FDA to conduct the Phase 3 trials in both of these indications under a Special Protocol Assessment. Perifosine has also been granted orphan medicinal product designation from the European Medicines Agency ("EMA") in multiple myeloma. Furthermore, perifosine has received positive Scientific Advice from the EMA for both the multiple myeloma and advanced colorectal cancer programs, with ongoing Phase 3 trials for these indications expected to be sufficient for registration in Europe. Perifosine rights have been licensed to Keryx Biopharmaceuticals for North America and to Handok for Korea.

About Aeterna Zentaris Inc.

Aeterna Zentaris is a late-stage oncology drug development company currently investigating potential treatments for various cancers including colorectal, ovarian, endometrial cancer and multiple myeloma. The Company's innovative approach of "personalized medicine" means tailoring treatments to a patient's specific condition and to unmet medical needs. Aeterna Zentaris' deep pipeline is drawn from its proprietary discovery unit providing the Company with constant and long-term access to state-of-the-art therapeutic options. For more information please visit www.aezsinc.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbour provisions of the U.S. 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 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 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.

CONTACT:

Investor Relations
Ginette Vallieres
InvestorRelations Coordinator
(418) 652-8525 ext. 265
 

Media Relations
Paul Burroughs
Director ofCommunications
(418) 652-8525 ext. 406
 

mailto:gvallieres@aezsinc.com gvallieres@aezsinc.com mailto:pburroughs@aezsinc.com pburroughs@aezsinc.com

Ticker Symbol: (NASDAQ-NMS:AEZS),(Toronto:AEZ)

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Posted: December 2010

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