Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: AEZS) (TSX: AEZ) (the "Company") today announced a strategic co-promotion services agreement with ASCEND Therapeutics® US, LLC, ("ASCEND"). Under the terms of the agreement, expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2014, Aeterna Zentaris will use its newly established commercial structure to market, in specific U.S. territories, ASCEND's EstroGel® a non-patch transdermal U.S. Food & Drug Administration ("FDA") approved and commercialized estrogen replacement therapy. For its part, ASCEND would market, in specific U.S. territories, MacrilenTM, Aeterna Zentaris' product for use in the evaluation of adult growth-hormone deficiency ("AGHD"), for which a New Drug Application ("NDA") is currently under review by the FDA, with a Prescription Drug User Fee Act ("PDUFA") date of November 5, 2014. In consideration for these co-promotion services, each party will be entitled to receive, from the other party, commissions on net sales of each other's product.
As part of its commercial strategy, Aeterna Zentaris anticipates using approximately 20 sales representatives to cover its assigned U.S. specific territories, while ASCEND will use its existing sales force of over 35 sales representatives to cover its territories. Overall, more than 50 sales representatives are expected to promote both EstroGel® and MacrilenTM. Aeterna Zentaris is expected to book all future sales of MacrilenTM, while ASCEND will book all sales of EstroGel®.
David Dodd, Chairman, CEO at Aeterna Zentaris stated, "This co-promotion agreement is an important step in our strategy of transitioning into a commercially operating specialty biopharmaceutical company; the co‑promotion of ASCEND's EstroGel® will jump start our commercial activities, while the FDA continues its active NDA review for the approval of MacrilenTM in the evaluation of AGHD. We very much look forward to working with ASCEND, as it will enable us to use our new commercial structure not only for the co‑promotion of EstroGel®, but also for the potential launch of MacrilenTM, as well as for other commercial products that we plan to acquire, in-license or co-promote in the future."
Jay Bua, President & CEO at ASCEND Therapeutics stated, "We look forward to collaborating with Aeterna Zentaris on this co-promotion agreement. It will immediately extend our share of voice of the EstroGel® franchise as well as open opportunities to future co-promotional activities."