Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ:AEZS) and EMD Serono, Inc., the U.S. and Canadian biopharmaceutical businesses of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, today  announced the finalization of a promotional services agreement that will allow Aeterna Zentaris to promote Saizen® [somatropin (rDNA origin) for injection] to designated  medical professionals in specified territories in the United States. Saizen® is a recombinant human Growth Hormone (r-hGH) registered in the U.S. for the treatment of  growth hormone deficiency (GHD) in children and adults.

Under the agreement, Aeterna Zentaris will detail Saizen® to designated medical professionals, representing an important incremental field promotion activity in support of  the product. Payment to Aeterna Zentaris will be based on new, eligible patient starts on Saizen® above an agreed-upon baseline. Aeterna Zentaris has subcontracted with Ascend Therapeutics® US, LLC, with whom it previously established a co-promotion agreement that is currently underway, to detail Saizen® in territories not covered by Aeterna Zentaris. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Jude Dinges, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Aeterna Zentaris, commented on the agreement:  “In collaboration with Ascend Therapeutics, our combined 53 sales representatives are eager and poised to begin detailing Saizen®. We recognize the value of direct promotion in this category and we look forward to achieving increased market share and growth for Saizen® by significantly increasing the share-of-voice and impact in support of the product.”

David A. Dodd, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aeterna Zentaris stated regarding the promotional services agreement, “This agreement with EMD Serono, a leading US biopharmaceutical company, is another important step toward the transformation of Aeterna Zentaris into a commercially operating company. With its ongoing efforts in the development of electronic recombinant human growth hormone injection devices, EMD Serono is leading innovation in the field of growth hormones, and offers us with Saizen®, a perfect fit for our endocrinology portfolio we are developing and pursuing. We will continue to look for products that we can co-promote or in-license in our core areas of endocrinology and oncology as we build our portfolio and our commercial capabilities.” (Original Source)

Shares of Aeterna closed yesterday at $0.54 . AEZS has a 1-year high of $1.54 and a 1-year low of $0.48. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $0.57 and its 200-day moving average is $0.64.

On the ratings front, Aeterna has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on April 14, H.C. Wainwright analyst Swayampakula Ramakanth upgraded AEZS to Buy, with a price target of $1.25, which implies an upside of 131.5% from current levels. Separately, on April 13, Maxim Group’s Jason Kolbert reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $2.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Swayampakula Ramakanth and Jason Kolbert have a total average return of 2.8% and 0.8% respectively. Ramakanth has a success rate of 33.3% and is ranked #1796 out of 3594 analysts, while Kolbert has a success rate of 40.2% and is ranked #1852.

AEterna Zentaris Inc is a specialty biopharmaceutical company engaged in developing novel treatments in oncology, endocrinologyand women’s health.