Aeterna Zentaris Announces Two Poster Presentations on Lead Anticancer Compound Perifosine at Upcoming American Association for

Poster also to be presented on highly selective Erk1/2 inhibitor compound

QUÉBEC CITY, March 28 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: AEZS) (TSX: AEZ) (the "Company")  today announced that two abstracts on its lead anticancer compound, perifosine, will be presented at the upcoming 102nd annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research to be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, from April 2-6, 2011. Perifosine, an oral Akt inhibitor compound, is currently in a Phase 3 program in colorectal cancer and multiple myeloma and other earlier-stage programs. Another abstract will also be presented on a novel targeted Erk 1/2 inhibitor anticancer compound.

Sunday, April 3, 2011
Abstract #640:  "The Akt inhibitor Perifosine strongly enhances the antitumor and antivascular activity of CD34+ cells engineered to express membrane-bound tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)", A. Giacomini, S. L. Locatelli, M. Righi, L. Cleris, P.D. Longoni, M. Milanesi, M. Francolini, M. Magni, M. Di Nicola, A. M. Gianni, C. Carlo-Stella.
Date and time:  Sunday, April 3, 2011, 1:00-5:00 p.m. Eastern (Exhibit Hall A4-C)
Poster Session ID:  Cellular and Molecular Biology 27
Poster Section:  27
Poster Board:  14
Monday, April 4, 2011
Abstract #1965:  "Antitumor activity of novel Akt inhibitor, perifosine in gastric cell lines.", Tae Soo Kim, Hyo Song Kim, Bo Ram Kwan, Chan Hee Park Park, Hei-Cheul Jeung Jeung, Woo Ick Jang, Juergen Engel, Hyun Cheol Chung, Jae Kyung Roh, Sun Young Rha. 
Date and time:  Monday, April 4, 2011, 1:00-5:00 p.m. Eastern (Exhibit Hall A4-C)
Poster Session ID:  Cellular and Molecular Biology 27
Poster Section:  2
Poster Board:   5
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Abstract #3563:  "A highly selective Erk1/2 inhibitor with in vivo antitumor potency", I. Seipelt, E. Guenther, L. Blumenstein, G. Mueller, P. Schmidt, B. Aicher, M. Teifel and M. Gerlach
Presenter: Irene Seipelt, Ph.D., Associate Director of Discovery and Preclinical Development at Aeterna Zentaris 
Date and time:  Tuesday, April 5, 2011, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Eastern (Exhibit Hall A4-C)
Poster Session ID:  Experimental and Molecular Therapeutics 25
Poster Section:  28

About Perifosine

Perifosine is a novel, oral anticancer treatment that inhibits Akt activation in the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway. The product works by interfering with membranes of cancer cells thereby inhibiting Akt signaling which then affects cell death, growth, differentiation and survival. Perifosine, in combination with chemotherapeutic agents, is currently being studied for the treatment of multiple myeloma, colorectal cancer and other cancers, and is the most advanced anticancer compound of its class in late-stage development. Perifosine,as monotherapy, is being explored in other indications. The US Food & Drug Administration ("FDA") has granted perifosine orphan-drug designation in multiple myeloma and neuroblastoma, and Fast Track designations in both multiple myeloma and refractory advanced colorectal cancer. Additionally, an agreement was reached with the FDA to conduct the Phase 3 trials in both of these indications under a Special Protocol Assessment. Perifosine has also been granted orphan medicinal product designation from the European Medicines Agency ("EMA") in multiple myeloma. Furthermore, perifosine has received positive Scientific Advice from the EMA for both the multiple myeloma and advanced colorectal cancer programs, with ongoing Phase 3 trials for these indications expected to be sufficient for registration in Europe. Perifosine rights have been licensed to Keryx Biopharmaceuticals for North America, Yakult Honsha for Japan and to Handok for Korea.

About Erk 1/2 Inhibitor compound

Extracellular signal-regulated kinases ("Erks") act in the Ras-Raf-Mek-Erk signaling cascade and regulate various cellular processes such as cell growth, proliferation and survival in response to a variety of extracellular or intrinsically mutated upstream signals. Aeterna Zentaris has identified small molecular compounds that selectively inhibit Erk1/2, among them, AEZS-131, which has shown to significantly inhibit tumor growth in in vivo studies.  Early development of the Erk inhibitor AEZS-131 is an integral part of Aeterna Zentaris' kinase research program comprising the investigation of different compounds for single Erk inhibition, single PI3K inhibition and dual Erk/PI3K kinase inhibition.

About Aeterna Zentaris Inc.

Aeterna Zentaris is a late-stage oncology drug development company currently investigating potential treatments for various cancers including colorectal, ovarian, endometrial cancer and multiple myeloma. The Company's innovative approach of "personalized medicine" means tailoring treatments to a patient's specific condition and to unmet medical needs. Aeterna Zentaris' deep pipeline is drawn from its proprietary discovery unit providing the Company with constant and long-term access to state-of-the-art therapeutic options. For more information please visit