U.S. News

Aeterna Zentaris shares rise on analyst view


U.S.-traded shares of Canadian drug developer Aeterna Zentaris Inc. jumped Monday as a Rodman & Renshaw analyst reaffirmed a positive outlook for the company, citing its product pipeline.

The stock rose 25 cents, or 15 percent, to $1.93 in afternoon trading amid a rally in the broader market. Shares have traded between 75 cents and $3.25 over the last 52 weeks.

Rodman & Renshaw analyst Reni Benjamin reaffirmed a "Market Outperform" rating and $3 share price target in a note to investors. He cited positive developments within the company's pipeline, which include a mix of potential cancer and endocrinology drugs.

The company's drug candidate perifosine is currently in late-stage development as a potential multiple myeloma treatment with partner Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc. It is also being studied as a potential colon cancer treatment.

In April, the Europe Medicines Agency indicated an ongoing study is sufficient to provide the data needed for a marketing application on the drug, in combination with the cancer treatment Velcade. Also in April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave perifosine a "fast track" designation as a potential colon cancer drug, which allows for a faster review of a potential treatment intended for a serious or life-threatening disease.

Benjamin also said the company has a promising range of early- and midstage programs, including AEZS-108 for various types of tumors.