Abstract of Aeterna Zentaris accepted for presentation at the 13th International Congress on Autoimmunity

Aeterna Zentaris Inc.

Company present concerning AIM OrganicAls like a potential therapeutic treatment option for neuromyelitis optical spectrum disorder (“NMOSD”), an orphan indication with a high unmet medical need

TORONTO, ONTARIO, April 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: AEZS) (TSX: AEZS) (“Aeterna” or the “Company”), a specialty biopharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes a diversified portfolio of pharmaceutical and diagnostic products, today announced the results of preclinical studies of Aeterna’s AIM Biologicals (Autoimmunity Modifying Biologicals) for the potential treatment of Neuromyelitis Optic Spectrum Disorder (“NMOSD”) have been accepted for presentation on the 13and International Congress on Autoimmunity to be held June 10-13, 2022 in Athens, Greece.

The accepted abstract has been selected for poster presentation and oral presentation at Congress, which will be given by Aeterna Research Collaborator, Valentin Bruttel, PhD, Principal Investigator, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, University of Wuerzburg (“the University”). Details of the abstract and presentations are as follows:

Title: Presentation of the antigen on the MHC class lb-induces Aquaporin4-specific regulatory T cells in PBMCs of NMOSD patients and prevents experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in mice

Poster presentation

Date and time: The poster will be displayed throughout the congress

Venue: Exhibition Space, Megaron Athens International Conference Center (MAICC), Athens, Greece

Oral Prepresentation

Track: Parallel Session 12 – CNS – Central Nervous System (ID 25)
Date and time: Sunday, June 12, 2022, from 12:10 p.m. to 12:20 p.m.

Venue: “Nikos Skalkatos” Hall, Megaron Athens International Conference Center (MAICC), Athens, Greece

The summary is available at the following link:
https://cslide.ctimeetingtech.com/auto22/attendee/confcal/show/session/25

“We are delighted that this abstract has been accepted for presentation at such a prestigious autoimmunity conference, considered the largest multidisciplinary congress addressing all aspects of autoimmune disease and attracting some of the world’s foremost experts on autoimmunity,” commented Dr. Klaus Paulini, CEO of Aeterna. “In collaboration with Aeterna, Dr. Bruttel, Professor Dr. Wischhusen and our combined teams continue their efforts to explore the utility of AIM Biologicals for the treatment of NMOSD. In this abstract, they will present, for the first time, a proof of concept of AIM Biologicals in both in in vitro and mouse models.

Dr Bruttel from the University added: “These studies demonstrate that AIM Biologicals induce AQP4-specific human regulatory T cells. in vitro and prevent neuroinflammatory diseases in animal models. We believe Aquaporin-4-specific AIM Biologicals may be suitable for targeted immunosuppression in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders and we look forward to continuing our work with our exclusive licensee, Aeterna, to advance this.

About Neuromyelitis Optic Spectrum Disorder (NMOSD)

NMOSD is an antibody-mediated inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system (CNS) that affects approximately one in one million people per year. NMOSD, also known as Devic’s disease, is a chronic disease of the brain and spinal cord dominated by inflammation of the optic nerve (optic neuritis) and spinal cord (myelitis). Typical symptoms include loss of vision, muscle spasms, paraparesis and incontinence. If left untreated, 50% of people with NMOSD will become wheelchair bound and blind, and 30% will die within five years of the first attack. The water channel protein AQP4 is widely expressed in the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. Autoantibodies directed against AQP4 play an important role in the pathogenesis of NMOSD.

Currently, only three approved drugs are available for the treatment of NMOSD, all with very high annual treatment costs and the risk of the patient getting serious infections. Consequently, the Company believes that there remains a strong medical need to offer new therapeutic options to patients.

In the United States and Europe, there are currently approximately 10,000 to 15,000 patients living with NMOSD. Of these, patients seropositive for the AQP4 antibody who represent approximately 80% of the NMOSD population are the patients targeted for potential therapy based on AIM Biologicals technology.

About AIM OrganicAls

AIM Biologicals uses a novel mechanism believed to demonstrate that peptide antigens presented on MHC class I immunosuppressive molecules can selectively and effectively induce antigen-specific tolerance. Based on this mechanism, targeted immunomodulatory therapeutics are designed as optimized soluble molecules with the aim that they can be tailored to selectively induce tolerance to various autoantigens. Preclinical studies conducted by the University so far indicate that the induction of tolerance appears to be achieved via the selective elimination of antigen-specific immune effector cells and via the induction of antigen-specific regulatory T cells. antigen from naive T cells. AIM Biologicals therefore has the potential to become highly specific and effective but non-personalized treatments for NMOSD.

For the treatment of NMOSD, it is expected that AIM Biologicals will present a specific antigen derived from the water channel protein aquaporin-4 (AQP4) loaded with the soluble immunoregulatory protein HLA-G to selectively induce immunological tolerance in the central nervous system.

About Aeterna Zentaris Inc.

Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty biopharmaceutical company that develops and markets a diverse portfolio of pharmaceutical and diagnostic products focused on areas of high unmet medical need. The Company’s flagship product, macimorelin (Macrilen™; Ghryvelin®), is the first and only oral test approved by the US FDA and the European Commission indicated for the diagnosis of Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency (AGHD). The Company is building on the clinical success and compelling safety profile of macimorelin to develop it for the diagnosis of childhood growth hormone deficiency (CGHD), an area of ​​significant unmet need, in collaboration with Novo Nordisk.

Aeterna Zentaris is dedicated to the development of therapeutic assets and has recently taken steps to establish a growing preclinical pipeline to potentially address unmet medical needs in a number of indications, including neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder ( NMOSD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), hypoparathyroidism and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; Lou Gehrig’s disease). Additionally, the Company is developing an oral prophylactic bacterial vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and Chlamydia trachomatis.

For more information, visit www.zentaris.com and connect with the company on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains statements that may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of United States and Canadian securities laws and regulations and such statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the United States Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. are frequently, but not always, identified by words such as “expects”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “intends”, “potential”, “possible” and similar expressions. Such statements, based on management’s current expectations, inherently involve numerous known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions, many of which are beyond our control. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, those relating to: expectations regarding the conduct of preclinical research to identify and characterize a development candidate based on AIM Biologicals for the treatment of NMOSD.

Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements stated herein to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied. understood by the forward-looking information. These risks and uncertainties include, among others, the results of ongoing or planned preclinical studies of our products under development that may not be successful or support advancement of the product to human clinical trials; our ability to raise capital and obtain financing to continue our currently planned operations; our now strong dependence on the success of Macrilène (macimorelin) and related license agreements and the continued availability of funds and resources to successfully commercialize the product, including our heavy reliance on the success of the license agreement and the amended license agreement (collectively, Novo’s Amended License Agreement); global instability due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine and resulting geopolitical instability, and its unknown potential effect on our planned operations; our ability to enter into licensing, development, manufacturing, marketing and distribution agreements with other pharmaceutical companies and to maintain such agreements in effect; and our ability to continue listing our common stock on NASDAQ. Investors should consult our quarterly and annual filings with securities commissions in Canada and the United States for additional information on risks and uncertainties, including the risks discussed in our Annual Report on Form 20-F and our Annual Information Form, under the heading “Risk Factors”. Given the uncertainties and risk factors, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update these factors or to publicly announce any revision to any of the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect future results, events or developments, except as required by a government authority or applicable law. required.

No securities regulatory authority has approved or disapproved of the contents of this press release. The Toronto Stock Exchange accepts no responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Investor contacts:

jenene thomas
JTC-Team
T (US): +1 (833) 475-8247
Email: [email protected]


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