AEterna Laboratories Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel therapeutic treatments in oncology and endocrinology recently acquired the new German based biopharmaceutical company, Zentaris AG. Following this acquisition the new entity has in the pipeline six clinical stage products and two preclinical stage products, in oncology and one product already approved and marketed for in vitro fertilization in endocrinology. There are also two products in the preclinical stage and one in the clinical stage, in endocrinology.
AEterna's Chairman and CEO, Dr. Eric Dupont, believes that they now have the right partner to develop a leadership position in two growing therapeutic areas, oncology and endocrinology as Zentaris provides experienced management and drug development teams, an already marketed product, a solid financial position with a positive cash flow for 2002, eight additional global pharmaceutical partnerships and an impressive drug discovery platform.
AEterna's and Zentaris' combined clinical development strategy is based on five factors; development costs, competitive environment, involvement of pharmaceutical partners, time to market and potential markets for future drugs. The new structure is expected to drive drug discovery on an ongoing- forward basis through a state-of-the-art drug discovery unit, including a 100,000 proprietary compound library. Gilles Gagnon, President and COO at AEterna added that given the above five factors and and a portfolio of 12 products in development, the strategy for Neovastat will now strictly focus on the two ongoing Phase III studies in kidney cancer and lung cancer. Results of the kidney cancer trial are expected by the first or second quarter of 2003, while those of the lung cancer trial should be disclosed by the end of 2005.
Prof. Dr. Jurgen Engel, Chief Executive Officer at Zentaris concluded that the combined expertise will allow advancement of multiple promising preclinical and clinical projects for the development of novel treatments focused on oncology and endocrinology.