QUEBEC CITY, April 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - AEterna Zentaris Inc. (Nasdaq: AEZS TSX: AEZ;), a global biopharmaceutical company focused on endocrine therapy and oncology, today announced that David J. Mazzo, Ph.D., has resigned as President and Chief Executive Officer and as member of the Board of Directors of AEterna Zentaris, effective immediately. Mr. Juergen Ernst, the current Chairman of the Board of AEterna Zentaris, has been appointed as the interim President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and will serve in that capacity until a suitable replacement is identified and appointed by the Board of Directors. Ellen McDonald, MBA, the Senior Vice President, Business Operations and Chief Business Officer of AEterna Zentaris, has also resigned from the Company effective immediately.
Management and the Board of Directors of AEterna Zentaris wish to thank Dr. Mazzo and Ms. McDonald for their significant efforts on behalf of the Company and to recognize Dr. Mazzo's contribution to the Board of Directors.
Mr. Ernst, Chairman of the Board and Interim President and CEO of AEterna Zentaris, commented: "We have confidence in the experienced management team in place and will further advance our products through the pipeline, continuing to focus and prioritize on our Phase 3 program with cetrorelix in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and our Phase 2 program with AEZS-108 for endometrial and ovarian cancer. We believe that we have a solid foundation and a robust development pipeline, and we will continue to develop its full potential."
Mr. Ernst added: "We will continue to monetize our non-core assets in order to provide additional sources of non-dilutive funding." In that regard, AEterna Zentaris completed the sale of Echelon Biosciences in December 2007 for US$3.2 million and the sale in March 2008 of all rights relating to the use of miltefosine for Cdn$9.125 million.
Furthermore, the Board of Directors has authorized management to explore other such opportunities with a view to identifying additional non-core assets as a further potential source of non-dilutive funding.
About AEterna Zentaris Inc.
AEterna Zentaris Inc. is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on endocrine therapy and oncology with proven expertise in drug discovery, development and commercialization.
This press release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which 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 the 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 except if we are requested by a governmental authority or applicable law.
SOURCE AETERNA ZENTARIS INC.