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AEterna Zentaris (AEZS) Presents Encouraging Preclinical Data on Two Novel Orally Active Anti-Cancer Compounds at Major Conference in Germany


11/17/2010 2:43:32 PM

Québec City, Canada, November 17, 2010 – Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: AEZS, TSX: AEZ), (“the Company”) today presented posters on encouraging preclinical results for AEZS-129 and AEZS-132, two novel orally active compounds with anti-tumor effects. Data shows that AEZS-129 and AEZS-132 block important signalling pathways (PI3K/Akt and Ras/Raf/Mek/Erk) which contribute to the proliferation and survival of cancer cells. Targeting these multiple signalling pathways could result in improved treatment efficacy for such cancers as lung, colon, prostate, breast, endometrial cancer and melanoma. Both posters were presented by Irene Seipelt, Associate Director, Discovery and Preclinical Development at Aeterna Zentaris, during the 22nd EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics currently held at the Berlin Estrel Hotel and Convention Centre in Berlin, Germany.

Juergen Engel, Ph.D., President and CEO of Aeterna Zentaris stated, “Data from the studies on AEZS-129 and AEZS-132 presented today, demonstrate that these two novel orally active anti-cancer compounds can inhibit the growth of tumor cells without critical safety issues. They are also prime examples of our innovative drug development programs in oncology, using molecules that work by using a targeted approach in order to tailor the treatment to a patient’s specific condition and tumor characteristics. Although still in preclinical development, we believe AEZS-129 and especially the first-in-class dual PI3K/Erk inhibitor, AEZS-132, could be part of the next generation of cancer treatments.”

AEZS-129

Abstract #98: “AEZS-129, an orally active PI3K inhibitor in preclinical development,” I. Seipelt, E. Guenther, S. Baasner, L. Blumenstein, G. Mueller, J. Fensterle, J. Engel, M. Teifel, M. Gerlach

Summary: AEZS-129 has been identified as a highly potent and selective inhibitor of PI3K. The compound inhibits the PI3K/Akt signalling pathway both in-vitro and in-vivo and leads to growth inhibition of tumor cells. The compound was well tolerated during the 4 week treatment period and showed substantial tumor growth inhibition in different mouse xenograft tumor models.

This abstract is available at: http://poster-submission.com/search/sresult

AEZS-132

Abstract #197: “AEZS-132, a new orally bioavailable PI3K/Erk inhibitor with antitumor effects,” I. Seipelt, M. Gerlach, S. Baasner, L. Blumenstein, G. Mueller, B. Aicher, J. Engel, E. Guenther, M. Teifel

Summary: AEZS-132 is the first-in-class dual PI3K/Erk inhibitor being selected as the optimized lead compound for further development. The compound is a unique orally active low molecular weight dual PI3K/Erk inhibitor derived from Aeterna Zentaris’ medicinal chemistry program. Due to its dual PI3K and Erk inhibition, a broad anti-tumor activity is expected in tumors with over-activation of both pathways. AEZS-132 demonstrated prolonged plasma exposure when given orally in mice. Significant tumor inhibition resulted from mouse xenograft models with human colon, endometrium and lung tumors.

This abstract is available at: http://poster-submission.com/search/sresult/140

About Aeterna Zentaris Inc.

Aeterna Zentaris is a late-stage oncology drug development company currently investigating potential treatments for various cancers including colorectal, ovarian, and endometrial cancer as well as 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.

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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