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GEN News Highlights : Jun 28, 2010

Aeterna Zentaris Taps Almac to Develop Companion Diagnostic for Its Cancer Drug

AEZS-108 is an LHRH receptor targeted conjugate with doxorubicin, being investigated in multiple cancers.

Aeterna Zentaris and Almac are teaming up to develop a companion diagnostic for the former’s anticancer agent AEZS-108. The therapy is a doxorubicin luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone targeted conjugate compound, and selection for treatment is based on LHRH receptor expression.

In humans LHRH receptors are expressed in ovarian, endometrial, breast, bladder, prostate, and pancreatic tumors. AEZS-108 is in Phase II trials for advanced LHRH receptor-positive ovarian and endometrial cancer. An IND is in place for the treatment of bladder cancer. Currently, patients are chosen based on immunohistochemistry measurements.

Positive results in ovarian cancer for AEZS-108 were disclosed at this year’s ASCO meeting, while data in endometrial cancer is expected by year-end. The compound has been granted orphan-drug designation by the FDA and has received a positive opinion for orphan medicinal product designation from the Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products of the EMEA.