AEterna drug fails late-stage trial for enlarged prostate

AEterna Zentaris says that a late-stage study of its lead drug cetrorelix for enlarged prostates--or benign prostatic hyperplasia--didn't reach its primary endpoint. In addition, there were no clear differences in overall efficacy between the drug and placebo groups in the study.

Earlier this year, the Canadian developer reported similarly disappointing data on the drug, raising doubts about any eventual approval and setting the company's stock on a steadily southward path that has shaved off 66 percent of its value. But AEterna was able to score a $30 million upfront payment back in March when Sanofi-Aventis in-licensed the therapy.

"We will now focus our development efforts on our late-stage oncology compounds perifosine, our oral PI3K/AKT inhibitor and AEZS-108, our targeted doxorubicin conjugate, as well as our oral ghrelin agonist AEZS-130 in endocrinology," said CEO Juergen Engel, Ph.D.

- here's AEterna's release
- check out the Reuters story