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.About AEZS-130 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.