Washington, D.C. 20549

                            REPORT OF FOREIGN ISSUER

                      Pursuant to Rule 13a-16 or 15d-16 of
                       the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

                          For the month of August 2004

                             AETERNA ZENTARIS INC.
                   (Formerly named AEterna Laboratories Inc.)

                        1405, boul. du Parc-Technologique
                                 Quebec, Quebec
                                 Canada, G1P 4P5
                    (Address of principal executive offices)

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant files or will file annual reports
under cover of Form 20-F or Form 40-F.

                           Form 20-F          Form 40-F    X
                                     ------             ------

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant by furnishing the information
contained in this Form is also thereby furnishing the information to the
Commission pursuant to Rule 12g3-2(b) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

                               Yes           No   X
                                    -----       -----

If "Yes" is marked, indicate below the file number assigned to the registrant in
connection with Rule 12g3-2(b): 82-

                                 DOCUMENTS INDEX


1.             Press release dated August 12, 2004 - AEterna Zentaris Enters a
               License and Collaboration Agreement with Spectrum Pharmaceuticals
               on Fourth Generation LHRH Antagonist D-63153 after Zentaris
               Regains Worldwide Rights to D-63153 from Baxter Healthcare

AETERNA ZENTARIS INC. 1405 du Parc-Technologique Blvd.
Quebec (Quebec) Canada  G1P 4P5  T 418 652-8525  F 418 652-0881           [LOGO]

                                                           PRESS RELEASE
                                                           For immediate release

                            AETERNA ZENTARIS ENTERS A
                    RIGHTS TO D-63153 FROM BAXTER HEALTHCARE


QUEBEC CITY, CANADA, AUGUST 12, 2004 - AEterna Zentaris Inc. (TSX: AEZ; Nasdaq:
AEZS) announced today that its German subsidiary Zentaris GmbH and Spectrum
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPPI), an oncology-focused pharmaceutical company
based in the United States, have entered into a licensing and collaboration
agreement on a fourth generation LHRH antagonist D-63153 with the potential to
treat hormone-dependent cancers as well as benign, proliferative disorders. The
agreement comes on the heels of AEterna Zentaris regaining worldwide rights to
D-63153 from Baxter Healthcare as a result of recent organizational changes and
restructuring at Baxter, and following a mutual understanding between the two
companies aimed at maximizing the value of D-63153.

Under the terms of the agreement, AEterna Zentaris granted to Spectrum an
exclusive license to develop and commercialize D-63153 for all potential
indications in North America (including Canada and Mexico) and India. AEterna
Zentaris received an upfront payment which included cash and equity, at
signature, and is eligible to receive payments upon achievement of certain
development and regulatory milestones, in addition to royalties on potential net
sales. AEterna Zentaris retains exclusive rights to the rest of world and will
share with Spectrum upfront and milestone payments, royalties or profits from
potential sales in Japan. Financial details were not disclosed.

"We are delighted to have a collaborator with the drug development expertise and
the financial strength that Spectrum possesses," stated Professor Dr. Jurgen
Engel, Chief Operating Officer of AEterna Zentaris. "The agreement allows for
AEterna Zentaris to generate near- and mid-term revenue, while also providing
for shared upside from successful commercialization of the product. AEterna
Zentaris' and Spectrum's complementary skills and experience should enhance and
expedite the development of this promising compound."

"We are very pleased to enter into this alliance with Spectrum Pharmaceuticals,"
said Gilles Gagnon, President and CEO of AEterna Zentaris. "Our goal in this, as
well as other existing and

future alliances, is to continue to build shareholder value by maximizing the
value of our robust pipeline while diversifying the risk inherent in drug

"We are excited to have the opportunity to work with AEterna Zentaris' team as
well as someone of Professor Engel's caliber and look forward to developing and
commercializing D-63153," stated Luigi Lenaz, M.D., President of Oncology
Division, Spectrum Pharmaceuticals. "We plan to expand the development of
D-63153 by initiating additional clinical trials in one or more indications as
soon as feasible, possibly before the end of 2004."

"We are extremely pleased to establish this alliance and look forward to working
with AEterna Zentaris' team to enhance the value of D-63153," stated Rajesh
Shrotriya, M.D., Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President of
Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc."


Spectrum Pharmaceuticals is an oncology-focused pharmaceutical company engaged
in the business of acquiring, developing and commercializing proprietary drug
products which have a primary focus on the treatment of cancer and related
disorders as well as generic drug products for various indications. The
Company's lead drug, satraplatin, is a Phase III oral, anti-cancer drug being
co-developed with GPC Biotech AG for its initial indication, second-line
chemotherapy for hormone-refractory prostate cancer and has been granted
fast-track status by the FDA. Elsamitrucin, a Phase II drug, will initially
target non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. EOquin(TM), a Phase II drug, is being studied in
the treatment of superficial bladder cancer. In addition, the Company has filed
with the FDA three Abbreviated New Drug Applications for the generic drugs
ciprofloxacin, carboplatin and fluconazole. For additional information, visit
the company's website at


AEterna Zentaris Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused in oncology and
endocrine therapy. Its extensive portfolio, from drug discovery to marketed
products, includes perifosine, an orally-active AKT inhibitor in several Phase
II trials for multiple cancers, and cetrorelix, an LHRH antagonist already
marketed for IN VITRO fertilization under the brand name Cetrotide(R), and also
in advanced clinical development for the treatment of uterine myoma,
endometriosis and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

AEterna Zentaris also owns 62% of Atrium Biotechnologies Inc., which develops,
distributes and markets active ingredients, specialty fine chemicals, cosmetic
and nutritional products for the cosmetics, chemical, pharmaceutical and
nutritional industries.

News releases and additional information about AEterna Zentaris are available on
its new Web site


This press release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe
harbor provisions of the U.S. Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties,
which could cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from those
in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among
others, the availability of funds and resources to pursue R&D projects, the
successful and timely completion of clinical studies, the ability of the Company
to take advantage of business opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry,
uncertainties related to the regulatory process and general changes in economic
conditions. Investors should consult the Company's quarterly and annual filings
with the Canadian and U.S. securities commissions for additional information on
risks and uncertainties relating to the

forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned not to rely on these
forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake to update these
forward-looking statements.



MEDIA RELATIONS                              INVESTOR RELATIONS
Paul Burroughs                               Jacques Raymond
(418) 652-8525 ext. 406                      (418) 652-8525 ext. 360 
----------------------------------           -----------------------------------

U.S. INVESTOR RELATIONS                       EUROPE
Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates                Matthias Seeber
Kim Golodetz                                  +49 69 42602 3425
(212) 838-3777                                                  ---------------------------


             Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by
the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.

                                         AETERNA ZENTARIS INC.

DATE:  August 13, 2004                   By:  /s/ MARIO PARADIS
----------------------                      ------------------------------------
                                            Mario Paradis
                                            Senior Director, Finance and
                                            Corporate Secretary