- Published: 01 December 2015
- Written by Editor
Aeterna Zentaris and Armune BioScience Finalize Co-Marketing Agreement for APIFINY® Prostate Cancer Blood Test
Transaction enhances focus on oncology market
QUÉBEC CITY-- Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (AEZS) (AEZ.TO) (the “Company”) today announced the finalization of a co-marketing agreement with Armune BioScience, Inc. (“Armune”) that will allow the Company to promote Armune’s APIFINY®, the only cancer specific, non-PSA blood test for the detection of prostate cancer.
Under the co-marketing agreement, the Company will promote APIFINY to designated medical professionals in its U.S. territories and will receive a commission for each test performed resulting from its targeted promotion. Jude Dinges, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Aeterna Zentaris, commented on the agreement: “APIFINY represents an important addition to clinical information pertaining to the detection of prostate cancer.
It is a simple, non-PSA based measure for patients and their clinicians to aid in assessment of prostate cancer risk. Importantly, this product enhances our focus on the oncology marketplace in general and on the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of prostate cancer in particular. It was recently reported that our Zoptrex™ product has demonstrated potential as a treatment for certain types of prostate cancer in an investigator-sponsored Phase II trial and, therefore, we have a keen interest in products that relate to the condition.”
Discussing the potential for a broader collaboration between the Company and Armune, Richard Sachse, MD PhD, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Company, commented, “It will be an exciting opportunity to qualify APIFINY as a companion diagnostic for therapeutic decision-making and for disease-monitoring within our ongoing Zoptrex™ development program or potential successor programs, if we decide to go forward in prostate cancer or any other cancer suitable for Armune’s compelling technology platform.”
David A. Dodd, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, commented on the opportunity, stating “Promoting APIFINY will give our sales force experience in the oncology market, which will serve us well as we move toward the commercialization of Zoptrex™, if it is approved by the FDA. We are also looking forward to developing a much more in-depth relationship with Armune in connection with the evaluation of Zoptrex™ for prostate cancer and perhaps other indications.”
“We are very excited to begin our partnership with Aeterna Zentaris through this initial agreement,” commented David A. Esposito, President and Chief Executive Officer of Armune BioScience. “The experience and expertise of the commercial and research teams at Aeterna Zentaris will be extremely helpful to Armune as we accelerate the growth of APIFINY and develop our autoantibody technology across major areas of unmet need in cancer. In less than eight months on the market, APIFINY has been ordered over 2,500 times as clinicians move beyond PSA-based testing to assess prostate cancer risk. Aeterna Zentaris will help us achieve the full potential of this opportunity.”
About Prostate Cancer
Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. The American Cancer Society predicted that 220,800 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States would occur in 2015, that there would be 27,540 prostate cancer deaths during the year and that one man in seven would be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Approximately 60% of prostate cancer is diagnosed in men aged 65 or older, and it is rare before age 40. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. Prostate cancer can be a serious disease, but most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die from it. In fact, more than 2.9 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today.
APIFINY is the only cancer-specific, non-PSA blood test that may aid clinicians in the detection of prostate cancer. APIFINY technology measures the body’s immune response to cancer and is based on the measurement of eight prostate-cancer-specific autoantibodies in human serum. These autoantibodies are produced and amplified by the immune system in response to the presence of prostate cancer cells. The autoantibodies are stable and, because of their amplification, are likely to be abundant and easy to detect, especially with small tumors characteristic of early-stage cancers. The autoantibody markers span a range of biological functions integral to prostate-cancer progression. Cell cycle, structure, and cellular signaling pathways are all represented. The use of APIFINY results supplement other information about a patient’s risk of prostate cancer and may therefore aid clinicians in the detection of prostate cancer.
About Armune BioScience
Armune is a medical diagnostics company that develops and commercializes unique proprietary technology exclusively licensed from the University of Michigan for diagnostic and prognostic tests for cancer. The Armune BioScience Laboratory is a commercial reference laboratory, certified and regulated by the federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) law established in 1988. The laboratory’s CLIA Certificate permits it to perform APIFINY and other high-complexity medical tests. Armune, a private company, has a corporate headquarters in Kalamazoo, MI and a research and commercial laboratory in Ann Arbor, MI. For more information, visit www.armune.com.
About Aeterna Zentaris
Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty biopharmaceutical company engaged in developing and commercializing novel treatments in oncology, endocrinology and women’s health. We are engaged in drug development activities and in the promotion of products for others. The focus of our business development efforts is the acquisition of licenses to products that are relevant to our therapeutic areas of focus. We also intend to license out certain commercial rights of internally developed products to licensees in territories where such out-licensing would enable us to ensure development, registration and launch of our product candidates. Our goal is to become a growth-oriented specialty biopharmaceutical company by pursuing successful development and commercialization of our product portfolio, achieving successful commercial presence and growth, while consistently delivering value to our shareholders, employees and the medical providers and patients who will benefit from our products. For more information, visit www.aezsinc.com.
Philip Theodore, 843-900-3223
Senior Vice President