QUEBEC CITY, Sept. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: AEZS) (TSX: AEZ) (the "Company") today announced that the European Patent Office ("EPO") has granted a patent for the use of the ghrelin agonist, AEZS-130, related to methods and kits for use in relation to the diagnosis of growth hormone deficiency ("GHD") in a human or animal subject. Filed on February 19, 2007, the patent (EP #1 984 744 B1) titled, "Methods and Kits to Diagnose Growth Hormone Deficiency", was effective as of September 19, 2012, following its announcement in the European Patent Bulletin, and will expire on February 19, 2027. A similar patent has already been granted in the U.S.
Juergen Engel, Ph.D., Aeterna Zentaris President and CEO, commented, "This patent in Europe, along with the one already granted in the U.S., are key elements to ensure the protection of AEZS-130 for the diagnosis of GHD, in the world's two largest markets. We now look forward to filing a New Drug Application in the near future in the U.S. for AEZS-130, which could become the first approved oral diagnostic test for adults with GHD".
About AGHD (Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency)
AGHD affects 35,000 adult Americans, with 6,000 new adult patients diagnosed each year. Growth hormone not only plays an important role in growth from childhood to adulthood, but helps promote good health throughout life. AGHD is usually characterized by low energy levels, decreased strength and exercise tolerance, increased weight or difficulty losing weight, emotional changes, anxiety and impaired sleep.
AEZS-130, a ghrelin agonist, is a novel orally-active small molecule that stimulates the secretion of growth hormone. The Company has completed a Phase 3 trial for use as an oral diagnostic test for AGHD. AEZS-130 has been granted orphan drug designation by the FDA for use in this indication. AEZS-130 is also in a Phase 2A trial as a treatment for cancer-induced cachexia. Aeterna Zentaris owns the worldwide rights to AEZS-130.
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 please visit www.aezsinc.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 risk that safety and efficacy data from any of our Phase 3 trials may not coincide with the data analyses from previously reported Phase 1 and/or Phase 2 clinical trials, 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.