The 22nd EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics will be held at the Berlin Estrel Hotel and Convention Centre in Berlin, Germany November 16 through 19, 2010.
AEterna Zentaris (AEZS) will have a lot of information to share at that meeting. The key data will be a poster on their Phase 2 results for AEZS-108 in advanced endometrial cancer. In the Phase 2 study of AEZS-108 (AN-152), a targeted cytotoxic LHRH analog, in patients with LHRH receptor positive endometrial cancer,
Aeterna states that:
“AEZS-108 represents a new targeting concept in oncology using a cytotoxic peptide conjugate which is a hybrid molecule composed of a synthetic peptide carrier and a well-known cytotoxic agent, doxorubicin. The design of this product allows for the specific binding and selective uptake of the cytotoxic conjugate by LHRH-receptor-positive tumors. The binding of AEZS-108 to cancerous cells that express these receptors results in its accumulation and preferential uptake in the malignant tissue.”
AEZS-108 is one of the many products in the company arsenal. The pipeline is below. In all they have six orphan drug status indications for their current products and 2 of those orphan drug indications are for AEZS-108.
On May 17, AEZS-108 also received a Positive Opinion for Orphan Medicinal Product Designation for the Treatment of Ovarian Cancer from the Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products of the European Medicines Agency.
Perifosine is a product that AEZS shares with its partner, Keryx Pharmaceuticals (KERX). Perifosine is a potential blockbuster product that will also be on display at the EORTC Meeting, as they will be sharing a key abstract there:
“Perifosine in combination with antimetabolites induces synergistic effects on cytotoxicity and apoptosis in human colon, multiple myeloma, breast, renal, and liver tumor cell lines”
At the 2010 ASH Conference from Dec. 4-7, 2010, the company will be presenting five papers and four posters from the scientific sessions for its lead product candidate. In addition to these scientific conferences, AEZS is also scheduled to present at upcoming Dundee CapitalMarkets Emerging Growth Conference in Toronto on Wednesday, Nov 17th, 2010 from 9:55am to 10:15am EST in Toronto, Canada.
AEZS has $31 million in cash through the 3rd quarter of 2010. They also have 84 million shares outstanding and 83 million shares in the float. Their Perifosine Phase 3 programs in oncology are funded by Keryx, who is their North American partner. They have enough money to fund them through their NDA filing into 2011. November and December will be a significant period for AEZS as they position themselves as a significant players in the oncology space. They have achieved a lot of their key milestones in 2010 and, with promising products in the pipeline, could be a major player in this competitive space.
Disclosure: Long AEZS but position can change at any time