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AEterna Zentaris (AEZS) to Present Update on Its LHRH Receptor-Targeted Disorazol Z Cytotoxic Conjugates at Upcoming American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting


4/3/2013 11:07:14 AM

QUÉBEC CITY, April 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: AEZS) (TSX: AEZ) (the "Company") today announced that Babette Aicher, PhD, Director of Preclinical Development, will be making a poster presentation on updated proof-of-concept results for Disorazol Z cytotoxic conjugates, such as AEZS-125 and AEZS-138, in human ovarian and endometrial cancer xenograft models, at the upcoming American Association for Cancer Research ("AACR") annual meeting, which will be held April 6-10, 2013, in Washington D.C. The study is funded through a grant from the German Ministry of Education and Research.

Abstract #5476:"LHRH receptor targeting as mechanism of anti-tumor activity for cytotoxic conjugates of Disorazol Z with the LHRH receptor agonistic peptide D-Lys6-LHRH", B. Aicher, T. Schuster, L. Blumenstein, A. Schubert, C. Gruendker, J.B. Engel, O. Ortmann, R. Mueller, E. Guenther, M. Gerlach, M. Teifel.
Session: Experimental and Molecular Therapeutics 37
Date & Time: Wednesday, April 10, 2013, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (eastern)
Venue: Hall A-C Poster Section 36, Walter E. Washington Convention Center

About Disorazol Z

Disorazol Z is a novel natural compound, with outstanding cytotoxic activity, isolated from the myxobacterium Sorangium cellulosum. Disorazol Z, a macrocyclic polyketide, is produced by a fermentation process providing high yield and purity. Besides tubulin binding, Disorazol Z has pro-apoptotic properties and has been shown to arrest cancer cells in G2 stage of the cell cycle at subnanomolar concentrations. Disorazol Z is an ideal partner for the formation of cytotoxic conjugates with peptides, proteins, and antibodies to selectively target cancer cells.

About Disorazol Z cytotoxic conjugates such as AEZS-125 and AEZS-138

AEZS-125 and AEZS-138 are novel cytotoxic conjugates based on the natural compound Disorazol Z and the luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone ("LHRH") receptor agonist D-Lys6-LHRH. The peptide part directs the conjugates specifically to LHRH receptor expressing tumor cells, and mediates binding and uptake via endocytosis. Within the cancer cell, the conjugates are cleaved and Disorazol Z can deploy its potent anti-proliferative activity.

According to the literature, LHRH receptors occur in a number of human tumors, specifically in about 80% of ovarian and endometrial cancers. They are also expressed in prostate, urinary bladder and triple-negative breast cancer, while they are rarely found in normal tissues, except for the pituitary gland and reproductive organs. The LHRH receptor displays ideal properties for selective drug targeting.

About Aeterna Zentaris

Aeterna Zentaris is an oncology and endocrinology drug development company currently investigating treatments for various unmet medical needs. The Company's pipeline encompasses compounds at all stages of development, from drug discovery through to marketed products. For more information, visit www.aezsinc.com.

SOURCE AETERNA ZENTARIS INC.



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