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May 8, 2007

AEterna Zentaris Reclaims Cetrorelix Rights for All Indications

  • AEterna Zentaris ended a deal with Solvay Pharmaceuticals related to cetrorelix. Marketed under the brand name Cetrotide®, cetrorelix is approved for therapeutic use as part of in vitro fertilization programs in Europe, the U.S., and Japan.

    In January 2006, Solvay relinquished its exclusive, worldwide rights, excluding Japan, for cetrorelix in benign prostate hyperplasia while keeping its clinical program with the candidate in endometriosis.

    Today’s termination of the license and cooperation agreement gives AEterna Zentaris exclusive, worldwide rights, excluding Japan, to cetrorelix for all remaining indications, including endometriosis. Cetrorelix is currently in Phase III evaluation of benign prostatic hyperplasia and endometriosis.

    AEterna Zentaris also secured rights to its lead luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) antagonist without any financial compensation payable to Solvay. "Now that we have the full rights to cetrorelix, excluding Japan, it is imperative that we conduct an updated, comprehensive strategic analysis and determine the best way to maximize the value of the compound," stated David J. Mazzo, Ph.D., president and CEO of AEterna Zentaris.

    Solvay’s decision to pull out of the partnerhsip is based on its shifted focus after acquiring Fournier Pharma in 2005, according to AEterna Zentaris.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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