Aeterna Zentaris Amends License Agreement with Novo Nordisk for Commercialization and Development of Macimorelin
- Company to receive upfront payment of €5 million replacing a later stage regulatory approval milestone of U.S.$5 million
- Novo Nordisk committing to fund €9 million of the budgeted AEZS-130-P02 (“Study P02”) clinical trial costs for childhood-onset growth hormone deficiency expected to be initiated in Q1 2021
CHARLESTON, S.C., Nov. 16, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: AEZS) (TSX: AEZS) (“Aeterna” or the “Company”), a specialty biopharmaceutical company commercializing and developing therapeutics and diagnostic tests, today announced that, through a wholly-owned subsdiary, it has entered into an amendment (the “Amendment”) of its existing License Agreement with Novo Nordisk Biopharm Limited (“NNBL”) related to the development and commercialization of macimorelin.
Under the terms of the original License Agreement, Novo Nordisk was granted the exclusive right to commercialize macimorelin in the United States (“U.S.”) and Canada. Novo Nordisk is currently marketing macimorelin in the U.S. under the tradename Macrilen for the diagnosis of adult growth hormone deficiency (“AGHD”). Aeterna, in collaboration with Novo Nordisk, is currently developing the expanded use of macimorelin for the diagnosis of childhood-onset growth hormone deficiency (“CGHD”), an area of significant unmet need. Aeterna has entered into the start-up phase for the clinical safety and efficacy study, Study P02, evaluating macimorelin for the diagnosis of CGHD, which is expected to be initiated in Q1 of 2021.
Under the Amendment, Aeterna continues to retain all rights to macimorelin outside of the U.S. and Canada but, in demonstration of Novo Nordisk’s continued commitment to macimorelin, Novo Nordisk has agreed to make an immediate upfront payment to Aeterna of €5 million, which accelerates and replaces the U.S.$5 million later stage regulatory approval milestone that Novo Nordisk would have been required to pay only upon successful achievement of regulatory approval of macimorelin in the U.S. for the diagnosis of CGHD. Under the Amendment, all other future potential commercialization milestone payments remain unchanged. In addition, under the Amendment, Novo Nordisk and Aeterna have agreed that solely Aeterna will conduct the pivotal Study P02 in partnership with a contract research organization. Given the full transfer of development activities to Aeterna, Novo Nordisk is then adjusting the percentage of Study P02 clinical trial costs that Novo Nordisk is required to reimburse to Aeterna from 70% to 100% of costs up to €9 million, and includes reimbursement of Aeterna’s budgeted internal labor costs. Any additional external jointly approved Study P02 trial costs incurred over €9 million will be shared equally between Novo Nordisk and Aeterna. To reflect Novo Nordisk’s additional and earlier investment in macimorelin, the royalty payment Aeterna receives on sales in the U.S. and Canada will be reduced from 15% to 8.5% for annual net sales up to U.S.$40 million and returns to 15% or more for annual net sales of macimorelin over U.S.$40 million.