Aeterna Zentaris & Ceapro Complete Merger Transaction

Aeterna Zentaris Inc. and Ceapro Inc. recently announce the successful completion and closing of their all-stock merger of equals transaction (the Transaction), which was previously announced by Aeterna and Ceapro in their joint press release of December 14, 2023.

“This is an important day for shareholders of both companies as Aeterna and Ceapro have now officially come together to create a diversified business that is expected to create value for many years to come,” said Ronald W. Miller, Chair of the Company. “With the successful completion of this merger, we are now optimized to bring value-driving, transformational products to the market.”

Gilles Gagnon, Chief Executive Officer of the Company, added “With the shared benefits, additional competencies and resources resulting from this merger, we are now poised to push forward exciting development programs in selected areas while continuing to grow our revenue generating base business and constantly looking for strategic growth opportunities. We would like to thank Aeterna shareholders for their support for this transaction,” said Carolyn Egbert, former Chair of the Company. “We also look forward to working with the Ceapro team to build a long-term, sustainable business.”

Greater potential for stable cash flow to support R&D of potentially higher return pharmaceutical products. The Company currently generates revenues from two main active ingredients, oat beta glucan and avenanthramides, extracted and purified using its proprietary technology. Cash from these products is planned to be used along with the Company’s revenue from the commercialization or licensing of its macimorelin product to support the development of exciting, high potential-return products, ideally creating growing and sustainable revenue for the Company and investors.

Greater diversification of commercial and development product pipeline lowers risk. The Company is expected to benefit from an extensive and diversified pipeline of innovative products in development, including quicker-to-market biotechnology products and exciting potentially higher return, but longer-horizon, products. With this pipeline rejuvenation, the Company is anticipated to boast:

-more products in the pipeline that are closer to potential commercialization;

-an enhanced ability to strategically focus financial and company resources in a manner that provides the most value to the company and shareholders; and

-a more compelling value proposition and lower risk profile.

Expanded pharmaceutical research and development capabilities. The Company’s talented team brings deep expertise and knowledge that are expected to play a key role in advancing the Company and its development pipeline. The Company has the infrastructure to support development activities and potentially offer improved efficiencies, in addition to cost savings. It now also has an expanded development pipeline of products which its leadership is committed to prioritizing as they evaluate what will provide the best overall potential for the Company, shareholders, and consumers.

Compelling North American + European combination. The Company now has an operational presence in North America and Europe. While the Company expects to continue to maintain some presence in Europe, its leadership believes that it needs to re-focus operations within the North American biotechnology market, to provide optimal exposure to potential new investors, business development opportunities and talent.

Expertise and efficiencies. The Company can now leverage the combined experience and expertise of its predecessor companies, including navigating the conduct of human clinical trials and the crucial regulatory approval process required to bring pharmaceutical products to market. The Company plans to leverage this expertise with the higher value pharmaceutical opportunities being advanced for its active ingredients and technologies.

Following the closing of the Transaction, Aeterna’s board of directors now consists of eight directors: Ronald W. Miller (Chair), Carolyn Egbert, Gilles Gagnon, Ulrich Kosciessa, Geneviève Foster, William Li, Dennis Turpin and Peter Edwards. The executive leadership team now consists of Gilles Gagnon, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Giuliano La Fratta, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

A new name for the combined company is expected to be announced in the coming weeks and will be put forward for shareholder approval at the upcoming annual meeting of shareholders, details of which are expected to be announced shortly.

Full details of the Transaction and certain other matters are set out in the respective information circulars filed by Aeterna and Ceapro which are available under each company’s profile on SEDAR+ at or, as regards Aeterna, its reports on Form 6-K and other filings on EDGAR at

Aeterna is an “Eligible Interlisted Issuer” as such term is defined in the TSX Company Manual. As an Eligible Interlisted Issuer, the Company has relied on an exemption pursuant to Section 602.1 of the TSX Company Manual, the effect of which is that the Company was not required to comply with certain requirements relating to the issuance of securities in connection with the Transaction.

The shares of Ceapro are expected to be delisted from the TSX Venture Exchange within five business days. Ceapro is also in the process of applying to cease to be a reporting issuer under applicable Canadian securities laws.

Pursuant to the Transaction, former Ceapro shareholders are entitled to receive 0.02360 of an Aeterna Zentaris share for each Ceapro share held. In order to receive Aeterna Zentaris shares in exchange for Ceapro shares, Ceapro registered shareholders must complete, sign, date and return (together with the certificate or DRS statement representing their shares) the letter of transmittal that was mailed to them prior to closing of the Transaction. The letter of transmittal is also available under Ceapro’s profile on SEDAR+ at and by contacting Computershare Investor Services Inc., the depositary, by telephone at 1-514-982-7555 or toll-free in North America at 1-800-564-6253 or by email at

For those shareholders of Ceapro whose shares are registered in the name of a broker, investment dealer, bank, trust company or other intermediary or nominee, they should contact such intermediary or nominee for assistance in depositing their Ceapro shares and should follow the instructions of such intermediary or nominee.

Aeterna is a specialty biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development and commercialization of a diverse portfolio of pharmaceutical and diagnostic products, including those focused on areas of significant unmet medical need. One of Aeterna’s lead products is macimorelin (Macrilen; Ghryvelin), the first and only US FDA and European Commission approved oral test indicated for the diagnosis of adult growth hormone deficiency (AGHD). Aeterna is also engaged in the development of therapeutic assets and proprietary extraction technology, which is applied to the production of active ingredients from renewable plant resources currently used in cosmeceutical products (ie, oat beta glucan and avenanthramides which are found in leading skincare product brands like Aveeno and Burt’s Bees formulations) and being developed as potential nutraceuticals and/or pharmaceuticals.

The company is listed on the NASDAQ Capital Market and the Toronto Stock Exchange, and trades on both exchanges under the ticker symbol AEZS. For more information, please visit Aeterna’s website at