Aeterna Zentaris Inc. today announced that its German subsidiary has entered into binding agreements with various partners and licensees with respect to the manufacturing rights and obligations for its Cetrotide product. The principal effect of such agreements is to transfer manufacturing rights and to grant a manufacturing license for Cetrotide to a subsidiary of Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany (“Merck Serono”), in all jurisdictions. Subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to be completed on or about October 1, 2013, at which time Aeterna Zentaris would receive a one-time payment of ?2.5 million, or approximately $3.2 million and certain other payments. In addition, the Company has also entered into a transitional services agreement with Merck KGaA under which the Company will, during a 36-month period, provide various transition services to assist Merck KGaA in assuming responsibility for the manufacturing of Cetrotide in consideration for the payment of a monthly fee to the Company throughout such period.
Cetrotide (cetrorelix acetate for injection) is used to regulate hormone responses in women undergoing infertility treatment. Merck Serono, a leader in the field of fertility treatments, currently markets Cetrotide worldwide, excluding Japan.
The Company had previously monetized the royalty stream related to Cetrotide in November 2008 in a transaction with HealthCare Royalty Partners L.P. (formerly Cowen Healthcare Royalty Partners L.P.). With the transfer of manufacturing rights to Merck Serono, Aeterna Zentaris remains focused on its Phase 3 trial in endometrial cancer and Phase 2 trials in breast, prostate and bladder cancer with AEZS-108, its upcoming NDA filing for AEZS-130 as an oral diagnostic test for growth hormone deficiency in adults, as well as its earlier-stage oncology compounds, including AEZS-120.