Company

Bank

Analyst

Coverage

Opinion

Wk chg

4/5 cls

Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (TSX:AEZ; NASDAQ:AEZS)

Bloom Burton

Philippa Flint

Downgrade

Sell (from hold)

-63%

$0.80

Rodman

Reni Benjamin

Downgrade

Market perform(from market outperform)

Summer Street

Carol Werther

Downgrade

Neutral (from buy)

Flint also lowered her target to $0.50 from $2.50 after perifosine missed the primary endpoint in the Phase III X-PECT trial to treat refractory metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) (see B16). Aeterna and partner Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:KERX) said they are analyzing the data to determine next steps for the product, including whether to continue a Phase III trial to treat multiple myeloma (MM). Flint said she expects the MM trial to be terminated. Perifosine is an alkylphosphocholine modulator of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (PKB; AKT) and other signal transduction pathways.

Benjamin downgraded on the perifosine data, but said investors should not overlook the multiple late-stage products in Aeterna's pipeline. He anticipates the company will submit an NDA to FDA next half for Solorel macimorelin (AEZS-130), an oral ghrelin-mimetic growth hormone secretagogue, to diagnose adult growth hormone deficiency (AGHD). He also anticipates Aeterna will begin a Phase III trial next half for AEZS-108, a doxorubicin chemotherapeutic conjugated to luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) receptor agonist, to treat endometrial cancer.