Company Update (NASDAQ:AEZS): AEterna Zentaris Inc. (USA) and Orient EuroPharma Sign Exclusive License Agreement for Zoptrex™ in Taiwan and Southeast Asia
AEterna Zentaris Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ:AEZS) and Orient EuroPharma Co., Ltd. (“OEP”) announced the signing of an exclusive license agreement between the Company and Cyntec Co., Ltd., an affiliate of OEP (“Cyntec”), for the Company’s lead anti-cancer compound, Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin), for the initial indication of endometrial cancer, for Taiwan and nine countries in Southeast Asia (the “Territory”). Zoptrex™, a novel synthetic peptide carrier linked to doxorubicin as a New Chemical Entity (NCE), is currently in a fully-enrolled Phase 3 clinical trial in endometrial cancer. The Company expects to complete the Phase 3 clinical trial in the third quarter of 2016 and, if the results of the trial warrant doing so, to file a new drug application for Zoptrex™ in the first half of 2017.
Under the terms of the License Agreement, Aeterna Zentaris will be entitled to receive a non-refundable upfront payment in consideration for the license to Cyntec of the Company’s intellectual property related to Zoptrex™ and the grant to Cyntec of the right to commercialize Zoptrex™ in the Territory. Cyntec has also agreed to make additional payments to the Company upon achieving certain pre-established regulatory and commercial milestones. Furthermore, the Company will receive royalties on future net sales of Zoptrex™ in the Territory. Cyntec will be responsible for the development, registration, reimbursement and commercialization of the product in the Territory.
David Dodd, President and CEO of the Company, stated, “We are very excited about this arrangement with OEP. It is an important step in our strategy of leveraging our pipeline to secure future revenues with strategic development and commercial licensees for specific regions of the world. We are very pleased that OEP’s affiliates will commercialize Zoptrex™ in the Territory, providing women with advanced endometrial cancer a significant treatment option. Their experience and commitment to ensuring the success of Zoptrex™ in their Territory is most assuring. We look forward to similar, additional agreements as we progress towards the completion of the pivotal Phase 3 trial and the subsequent reporting of top-line results later this year.”
Commenting on the signing of the agreement, Peter Tsai, Chairman and CEO of OEP stated, “With our advantage of the comprehensive sales network and operation over Southeast Asia market which we have cultivated for years, we successfully signed the partnership with Aeterna Zentaris and the outstanding endometrial cancer treatment. The exclusive license agreement gives us more confidence in exploring the Asian market with a stronger product portfolio.” (Original Source)
Shares of Aeterna Zentaris closed yesterday at $3.26, down $0.01 or -0.31%. AEZS has a 1-year high of $26.88 and a 1-year low of $2.60. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $3.43 and its 200-day moving average is $3.58.
On the ratings front, AEZS has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on June 15, Maxim Group analyst Jason Kolbert reiterated a Buy rating on AEZS, with a price target of $11.00, which represents a potential upside of 237% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on March 31, Canaccord’s Neil Maruoka reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $9.00.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Jason Kolbert and Neil Maruoka have a total average return of -16.0% and -33.3% respectively. Kolbert has a success rate of 29% and is ranked #3916 out of 4001 analysts, while Maruoka has a success rate of 13% and is ranked #3907.
Ãterna Zentaris, Inc. operates as a specialty biopharmaceutical company that is engaged in developing and commercializing novel treatments in oncology, endocrinology and women’s health. The company’s pipeline encompasses compounds at all stages of development, from drug discovery through to marketed products. It focuses on the development of Perifosine, Cetrotide, Ozarelix, AEZS-108 and AEZS-130.