Aeterna Zentaris Receives $2.5 Million Milestone Payment From HealthCare Royalty Partners
All amounts are in U.S. dollars
QUEBEC CITY, February 28, 2011 — Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: AEZS) (TSX: AEZ) (the “Company”), a late-stage drug development company specialized in oncology and endocrinology, today announced that it had received a net sales milestone of $2.5million from HealthCare Royalty Partners, L.P. (“HC Royalty"). This milestone was payable pursuant to the previously announced sale to HC Royalty of Aeterna Zentaris’ rights to royalties on future net sales of Cetrotide®, covered by the Company’s license agreement with Merck Serono, and was contingent on 2010 net sales of Cetrotide® reaching a specified level.
Juergen Engel, Ph.D., President and CEO of Aeterna Zentaris stated, “We are pleased to have reached this $2.5 million milestone which will be incremental to advance perifosine, AEZS-108 and other innovative oncology compounds from our extensive product pipeline."
Cetrotide® was the first luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone antagonist treatment approved for in vitro fertilization. It is administered to women to prevent premature ovulation in order to increase fertility success rate. It was launched in Europe in 1999 and in the United States in 2001. Cetrotide® is currently marketed worldwide by Merck Serono, except for Japan where it is marketed by Nippon Kayaku and Shionogi.
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
About HealthCare Royalty Partners
HealthCare Royalty Partners is a global healthcare investment firm with more than $1billion under management. The Firm invests principally in commercial-stage healthcare companies and products through drug royalty acquisitions and structured financings. HC Royalty’s investment team has over 100 years of healthcare related experience including principal investing, structured finance, healthcare industry senior management, Wall Street research and consulting, and scientific and clinical experience. For more information, visit www.healthcareroyalty.com.
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.
# # #