Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:
AEZS) (TSX: AEZ) (the "Company") today announced that an article
published in the May 2012 issue of Plos One, outlines a novel mechanism
of action of the Company's oral anti-cancer compound, perifosine, which
could provide a rationale for a novel approach to the treatment of
Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MMe), an aggressive type of cancer
associated with exposure to asbestos. The article titled, "Perifosine as a Potential Novel Anti-Cancer Agent Inhibits EGFR/MET-AKT
Axis in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma", G. Pinton, A. Gabriella Manente, G. Angeli, L. Mutti, L. Moro, is
available at www.plosone.org. Plos One is an international, peer reviewed on-line publication.
Perifosine's activity was tested on human mesothelial cells and
different mesothelioma cell lines, in order to provide evidence of its
efficacy as single agent and combined therapy.
Data demonstrated that perifosine caused a dose-dependent reduction of
Akt activation, at concentrations causing MMe cell growth arrest.
Moreover, data described a novel mechanism of perifosine that
interferes, upstream of Akt, affecting EGFR and MET phosphorylation.
Finally, data demonstrated a significant increase in cell toxicity when
MMe cells were treated with perifosine in combination with cisplatin.
This study provides a novel mechanism of action of perifosine, directly
inhibiting EGFR/MET-Akt1/3 axis, providing a rationale for a novel
translational approach to the treatment of MMe.