Document


UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
___________________________ 
FORM 20-F
¨
Registration Statement Pursuant to Section 12(b) or 12(g) of The Securities Exchange Act of 1934
OR
ý
Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017
OR
¨
Transition Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of The Securities Exchange Act of 1934
OR
¨
Shell Company Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of The Securities Exchange Act of 1934
Commission file number 0-30752
AETERNA ZENTARIS INC.
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)
Not Applicable
(Translation of Registrant's Name into English)
Canada
(Jurisdiction of Incorporation)
315 Sigma Drive
Summerville, South Carolina, USA
29486
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
Michael V. Ward
Telephone: 843-900-3201
E-mail: mward@aezsinc.com
315 Sigma Drive
Summerville, South Carolina
29486
(Name, Telephone, E-mail and Address of Company Contact Person)
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of Each Class                
  
Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered                
Common Shares
  
NASDAQ Capital Market
Toronto Stock Exchange
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: NONE
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the ACT: NONE
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer's classes of capital or common stock as at the close of the period covered by the annual report: 16,440,760 Common Shares as at December 31, 2017.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes  ¨      No  ý
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Yes  ¨      No  ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.  Yes  ý     No  ¨ 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).  Yes   ý      No  ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company. See definitions of "accelerated filer," "large accelerated filer," and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer    ¨ Accelerated filer  ¨ Non-accelerated filer  ý Emerging growth company  ¨
If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards† provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
† The term "new or revised financial accounting standard" refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
US GAAP    ¨    International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the     Other    ¨
International Accounting Standards Board    ý





If "other" has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow. Item 17  ¨    Item 18  ¨
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).  Yes  ¨      No  ý





Basis of Presentation
General
Except where the context otherwise requires, all references in this Annual Report on Form 20-F to the "Company", "Aeterna Zentaris", "we", "us", "our" or similar words or phrases are to Aeterna Zentaris Inc. and its subsidiaries, taken together. In this Annual Report on Form 20-F, references to "$" and "U.S.$" are to United States ("U.S.") dollars, references to "CAN$" are to Canadian dollars and references to "EUR" are to euros. Unless otherwise indicated, the statistical and financial data contained in this Annual Report on Form 20-F are presented as at December 31, 2017.
All share, option and share purchase warrant as well as per share, option and share purchase warrant information presented in this Annual Report on Form 20-F have been adjusted, including proportionate adjustments being made to each option and share purchase warrant exercise price, to reflect and to give effect to a share consolidation (or reverse stock split), on November 17, 2015, of our issued and outstanding common shares on a 100-to-1 basis (the "Share Consolidation"). The Share Consolidation affected all shareholders, optionholders and warrantholders uniformly and thus did not materially affect any securityholder's percentage of ownership interest.
This Annual Report on Form 20-F also contains certain information regarding products or product candidates that may potentially compete with our products and product candidates, and such information has been primarily derived from information made publicly available by the companies developing such potentially competing products and product candidates and has not been independently verified by Aeterna Zentaris Inc.
Forward-Looking Statements
This Annual Report on Form 20-F contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe-harbor provision of the U.S. Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which reflect our current expectations regarding future events. Forward-looking statements may include, but are not limited to statements preceded by, followed by, or that include the words "will," "expects," "believes," "intends," "would," "could," "may," "anticipates," and similar terms that relate to future events, performance, or our results. Forward-looking statements involve known risks and uncertainties, including those discussed in this Annual Report on Form 20-F, under the caption "Key Information - Risk Factors" filed with the relevant Canadian securities regulatory authorities in lieu of an annual information form and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). Known and unknown risks and uncertainties could cause our actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, our now heavy dependence on the success of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) and related out-licensing arrangements and the continued availability of funds and resources to successfully launch the product, the ability of Aeterna Zentaris to enter into out-licensing, development, manufacturing and marketing and distribution agreements with other pharmaceutical companies and keep such agreements in effect, reliance on third parties for the manufacturing and commercialization of our product candidates, potential disputes with third parties, leading to delays in or termination of the manufacturing, development, out-licensing or commercialization of our product candidates, or resulting in significant litigation or arbitration, and, more generally, uncertainties related to the regulatory process, the ability of the Company to efficiently commercialize or out-license Macrilen™ (macimorelin), the degree of market acceptance of Macrilen™ (macimorelin), our ability to obtain necessary approvals from the relevant regulatory authorities to enable us to use the desired brand names for our products, the impact of securities class action litigation, the litigation involving two of our former officers, or other litigation, on our cash flow, results of operations and financial position; any evaluation of potential strategic alternatives to maximize potential future growth and stakeholder value may not result in any such alternative being pursued, and even if pursued, may not result in the anticipated benefits, our ability to take advantage of business opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry, our ability to protect our intellectual property, the potential of liability arising from shareholder lawsuits 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. Given these uncertainties and risk factors, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. We disclaim any obligation to update any such factors or to publicly announce any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect future results, events or developments, unless required to do so by a governmental authority or applicable law.





TABLE OF CONTENTS
GENERAL INFORMATION
    
 
Page
Item 1.
 
 
 
Item 2.
 
 
Item 3.
 
 
 
 
Item 4.
 
 
 
 
Item 4A.
Item 5.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 6.
 
 
 
 
 
Item 7.
 
 
 
Item 8.
 
 
Item 9.
 
 
 
 
 





 
Item 10.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 11.
Item 12.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 13.
Item 14.
Item 15.
Item 16A.
Item 16B.
Item 16C.
Item 16D.
Item 16E.
Item 16F.
Item 16G.
Item 16H.
 
 
 
 
 
Item 17.
Item 18.
Item 19.






PART I
Item 1.
Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers
A.
Directors and senior management
Not applicable.
B.
Advisers
Not applicable.
C.
Auditors
Not applicable.
Item 2.
Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable
A.
Offer statistics
Not applicable.
B.
Method and expected timetable
Not applicable.
Item 3.
Key Information
A.
Selected financial data
The consolidated statement of comprehensive (loss) income information set forth in this Item 3.A. with respect to the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 and the consolidated statement of financial position information as at December 31, 2017 and 2016 have been derived from the audited consolidated financial statements set forth in Item 18, which have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"), as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board ("IASB"). The consolidated statement of comprehensive (loss) income information with respect to the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013 and the consolidated statement of financial position information as at December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013 set forth in this Item 3.A. have been derived from our previous consolidated financial statements not included herein, and have also been prepared in accordance with IFRS, as issued by the IASB. The selected financial data should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 20-F, as well as "Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects" of this Annual Report on Form 20-F.
The Company has not declared or paid any dividends per share during the periods covered by the selected financial data.


1



Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive (Loss) Income Information
(in thousands of U.S. dollars, except share and per share data)
Derived from consolidated financial statements prepared in accordance with IFRS, as issued by the IASB
 
December 31,
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
$
 
$
 
$
 
$
 
$
Revenues
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sales commission and other
465

 
414

 
297

 

 
96

License fees
458

 
497

 
248

 
11

 
6,079

 
923

 
911

 
545

 
11

 
6,175

Operating expenses
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cost of Sales

 

 

 

 
51

Research and development costs
10,704

 
16,495

 
17,234

 
23,716

 
21,284

General and administrative expenses
8,198

 
7,147

 
11,308

 
9,840

 
11,091

Selling expenses
5,095

 
6,745

 
6,887

 
3,850

 
1,225

 
23,997

 
30,387

 
35,429

 
37,406

 
33,651

Loss from operations
(23,074
)
 
(29,476
)
 
(34,884
)
 
(37,395
)
 
(27,476
)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gain (loss) due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates
502

 
(70
)
 
(1,767
)
 
1,879

 
(1,512
)
Change in fair value of warrant liability
2,222

 
4,437

 
(10,956
)
 
18,272

 
1,563

Warrant exercise inducement fee

 

 
(2,926
)
 

 

Other finance income
75

 
150

 
305

 
168

 
185

Net finance income (costs)
2,799

 
4,517

 
(15,344
)
 
20,319

 
236

Loss before income taxes
(20,275
)
 
(24,959
)
 
(50,228
)
 
(17,076
)
 
(27,240
)
Income tax recovery
3,479

 

 

 
(111
)
 

Net loss from continuing operations
(16,796
)
 
(24,959
)
 
(50,228
)
 
(17,187
)
 
(27,240
)
Net income from discontinued operations

 

 
85

 
623

 
34,055

Net (loss) income
(16,796
)
 
(24,959
)
 
(50,143
)
 
(16,564
)
 
6,815

Other comprehensive (loss) income:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Items that may be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Foreign currency translation adjustments
(1,430
)
 
569

 
1,509

 
(1,158
)
 
1,073

Items that will not be reclassified to profit or loss:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Actuarial gain (loss) on defined benefit plans
694

 
(1,479
)
 
844

 
(1,833
)
 
2,346

Comprehensive (loss) income
(17,532
)
 
(25,869
)
 
(47,790
)
 
(19,555
)
 
10,234

Net loss per share (basic diluted) from continuing operations1
(1.12
)
 
(2.41
)
 
(18.17
)
 
(29.12
)
 
(92.41
)
Net income per share (basic and diluted) from discontinued operations1

 

 
0.03

 
1.06

 
115.52

Net (loss) income per share (basic and diluted)1
(1.12
)
 
(2.41
)
 
(18.14
)
 
(28.06
)
 
23.11

Weighted average number of shares outstanding:1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic and diluted
14,958,704

 
10,348,879

 
2,763,603

 
590,247

 
294,765

1 
Adjusted to reflect the November 17, 2015 100-to-1 Share Consolidation

2



Consolidated Statement of Financial Position Information
(in thousands of U.S. dollars)
Derived from consolidated financial statements prepared in accordance with IFRS, as issued by the IASB
 
 
As at December 31,
 
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
 
$
 
$
 
$
 
$
 
$
Cash and cash equivalents
 
7,780

 
21,999

 
41,450

 
34,931

 
43,202

Restricted cash equivalents
 
381

 
496

 
255

 
760

 
865

Total assets
 
22,195

 
31,659

 
51,498

 
47,435

 
59,196

Warrant liability (current and non-current portion)
 
3,897

 
6,854

 
10,891

 
8,225

 
18,010

Share capital
 
222,335

 
213,980

 
204,596

 
150,544

 
134,101

Shareholders' (deficiency) equity
 
(2,783
)
 
6,212

 
21,615

 
14,484

 
17,064

B.
Capitalization and indebtedness
Not applicable.
C.
Reasons for the offer and use of proceeds
Not applicable.
D.
Risk factors
An investment in our securities involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks described below, together with all of the other information included in this Annual Report, before making an investment decision. If any of the following risks actually occurs, our business, prospects, financial condition or results of operations could suffer. In that case, the trading price, if any, of our securities could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment.
Risks Relating to Us and Our Business
Investments in biopharmaceutical companies are generally considered to be speculative.
The prospects for companies operating in the biopharmaceutical industry are uncertain, given the very nature of the industry, and, accordingly, investments in biopharmaceutical companies should be considered to be speculative assets.
We have a history of operating losses and we may never achieve or maintain operating profitability. In addition, if we are unsuccessful in generating new revenue, increasing our revenue and/or raising additional funding, we may not be able to continue as a going concern.
We have incurred, and expect to continue to incur, substantial expenses in our efforts to develop and market products. Consequently, we have incurred operating losses historically and in each of the last several years. As at December 31, 2017, we had an accumulated deficit of approximately $314 million. Our operating losses have adversely impacted, and will continue to adversely impact, our working capital, total assets, operating cash flow and shareholders' equity. We do not expect to reach operating profitability in the immediate future, and our operating expenses are likely to continue to represent a significant component of our overall cost profile as we focus on the development and commercialization of Macrilen™ (macimorelin), including out-licensing arrangements, pursuing in-licensing opportunities or acquiring marketed products. In developing, acquiring, out-licensing or in-licensing Macrilen™ (macimorelin) or other commercial products, we could incur additional operating losses for at least the next several years. If we do not ultimately generate sufficient revenue from a commercialized product and achieve or maintain operating profitability, an investment in our Common Shares or other securities could result in a significant or total loss.
Our ability to continue as a going concern is dependent on the successful execution of our business plan, which will require an increase in revenue and/or additional funding to be provided by potential investors and/or non-traditional sources of financing. Although we did not have, as at December 31, 2017, sufficient liquidity and financial resources to fund planned expenditures and

3



other working capital needs, because of the $24 million upfront payment received on January 17, 2018 for the licensing of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) in the United States and Canada, as of the issuance of this Annual Report on Form 20-F we expect to have sufficient resources for the next 12 months.
Additional funding may be in the form of debt or equity or a hybrid instrument depending on our needs, the demands of investors and market conditions. Depending on the prevailing global economic and credit market conditions, we may not be able to raise additional cash through these traditional sources of financing. Although we may also pursue non-traditional sources of financing with third parties, the global equity and credit markets may adversely affect the ability of potential third parties to pursue such transactions with us. Accordingly, as a result of the foregoing, we continue to review traditional sources of financing, such as private and public debt or various equity financing alternatives, as well as other alternatives to enhance shareholder value, including, but not limited to, non-traditional sources of financing, such as strategic alliances with third parties, the sale of assets or licensing of our technology or intellectual property, a combination of operating and related initiatives or a substantial reorganization of our business.
There can be no assurance that we will achieve profitability or positive cash flows or be able to obtain additional funding or that, if obtained, the additional funding will be sufficient, or whether any other initiatives will be successful such that we may continue as a going concern. There could also be material uncertainties related to certain adverse conditions and events that could impact our ability to remain a going concern. If the going concern assumptions were deemed no longer appropriate for our consolidated financial statements, adjustments to the carrying value of assets and liabilities, reported expenses and consolidated statement of financial position classifications would be necessary. Such adjustments could be material.
Our revenues and expenses may fluctuate significantly, and any failure to meet financial expectations may disappoint securities analysts or investors and result in a decline in the price or the value of our Common Shares or other securities.
We have a history of operating losses. Our revenues and expenses have fluctuated in the past and may continue to do so in the future. These fluctuations could cause our share price or the value of our other securities to decline. Some of the factors that could cause our revenues and expenses to fluctuate include but are not limited to:
the inability to complete product development in a timely manner that results in a failure or delay in receiving the required regulatory approvals to commercialize a product;
not obtaining necessary regulatory approvals from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"), European Medicines Agency ("EMA") and other agencies that may delay or prevent us from bringing a product to market, which may affect the price of our securities;
the timing of regulatory submissions and approvals;
the timing and willingness of any current or future collaborators to invest the resources necessary to commercialize Macrilen™ (macimorelin) or other products;
the nature and timing of licensing fee revenues;
the outcome of litigation, including the securities class action litigation pending against us that is described elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 20-F;
foreign currency fluctuations;
the timing of the achievement and the receipt of milestone payments from current or future collaborators; and
failure to enter into new or the expiration or termination of current agreements with collaborators.
Due to fluctuations in our revenues and expenses, we believe that period-to-period comparisons of our results of operations are not necessarily indicative of our future performance. It is possible that in some future periods, our revenues and expenses will be above or below the expectations of securities analysts or investors. In this case, the price of our Common Shares and/or the value of our other securities could fluctuate significantly or decline.
If we decide to pursue new clinical trial programs for new products in the future and are unable to successfully complete those clinical trial programs, or if such clinical trials take longer to complete than we project, our ability to execute any related business strategy will be adversely affected.
We are currently not conducting any clinical trials but we may decide to do so in the future. If we experience delays in identifying and contracting with sites and/or in-patient enrollment in our future clinical trial programs, we may incur additional costs and delays in our development programs, and may not be able to complete our clinical trials on a cost-effective or timely basis. In

4



addition, conducting multi-national studies adds another level of complexity and risk as we are subject to events affecting countries other than the United States and Canada. Moreover, negative or inconclusive results from the clinical trials we conduct or adverse medical events could cause us to have to repeat or terminate the clinical trials. Accordingly, we may not be able to complete the clinical trials within an acceptable time-frame, if at all. If we or our contract resource organization (a "CRO") have difficulty enrolling a sufficient number of patients to conduct our clinical trials as planned, we may need to delay or terminate ongoing clinical trials.
Clinical trials are subject to continuing oversight by governmental regulatory authorities and institutional review boards and must, among other requirements:
meet the requirements of these authorities from multiple countries and jurisdictions and their related statutes, regulations, and guidances;
meet the requirements for informed consent;
meet the requirements for institutional review boards; and
meet the requirements for good clinical practices
If we are unable to commercialize or out-license Macrilen™ (macimorelin), or if we experience significant delays in doing so, our business would be materially harmed and the future and viability of our Company could be imperiled.
Our principal focus is on the licensing and development of Macrilen™ (macimorelin). The commercial success of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) will depend on several factors, including the following:
receipt of approvals from the EMA, and similar foreign regulatory authorities;
successfully contracting with qualified third party manufacturers to manufacture Macrilen™ (macimorelin);
developing appropriate distribution and marketing infrastructure and arrangements for our product;
launching and growing commercial sales of the product;
out-licensing Macrilen™ (macimorelin) to third parties; and
acceptance of the product in the medical community, among patients and with third party payers.
If we are unable to successfully achieve any of these factors, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially adversely affected.
We are currently dependent on certain strategic relationships with third parties for the development, manufacturing and licensing of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) and we may enter into future collaborations for the development, manufacturing and licensing of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) or future products.
We are currently dependent on certain strategic relationships with third parties for the development, manufacturing and licensing of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) and may enter into future collaborations for the development and licensing of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) or future products. Our arrangements with these third parties may not provide us with the benefits we expect and may expose us to a number of risks.
We are dependent on, and rely upon, third parties to perform various functions related to our business, including, but not limited to, development, manufacturing and licensing of Macrilen™ (macimorelin). Our reliance on these relationships poses a number of risks. We may not realize the contemplated benefits of such agreements nor can we be certain that any of these parties will fulfill their obligations in a manner which maximizes our revenue. These arrangements may also require us to transfer certain material rights to third parties. These agreements create certain additional risks. The occurrence of any of the following or other events may delay or impair commercialization of our products:
not all of the third parties are contractually prohibited from developing or commercializing, either alone or with others, products that are similar to or competitive with our product candidates and, with respect to our contracts that do contain such contractual prohibitions or restrictions, prohibitions or restrictions do not always apply to the affiliates of the third parties and they may elect to pursue the development of any additional product candidates and pursue technologies or products either on their own or in collaboration with other parties, including our competitors, whose technologies or products may be competitive with ours; the third parties may under-fund or fail to commit sufficient resources to marketing, distribution or other development of our products;

5



the third parties may cease to conduct business for financial or other reasons;
we may not be able to renew such agreements;
the third parties may not properly maintain or defend certain intellectual property rights that may be important to the commercialization of our products;
the third parties may encounter conflicts of interest, changes in business strategy or other issues which could adversely affect their willingness or ability to fulfill their obligations to us (for example, pharmaceutical companies historically have re-evaluated their priorities following mergers and consolidations, which have been common in recent years in this industry);
delays in, or failures to achieve, scale-up to commercial quantities, or changes to current raw material suppliers or product manufacturers (whether the change is attributable to us or the supplier or manufacturer) could delay clinical studies, regulatory submissions and commercialization of our products; and
disputes may arise between us and the third parties that could result in the delay or termination of the development, manufacturing or commercialization of our product candidates, resulting in litigation or arbitration that could be time-consuming and expensive, or causing the third parties to act in their own self-interest and not in our interest or those of our shareholders or other stakeholders.
In addition, the third parties can terminate our agreements with them for a number of reasons based on the terms of the individual agreements that we have entered into with them. If one or more of these agreements were to be terminated, we would be required to devote additional resources to developing, manufacturing and commercializing our products, seek a new third party with which to contract or abandon the product candidate, which would likely cause a drop in the price of our Common Shares and/or a decline in the value of our other securities.
We have incurred, and expect to continue to incur, substantial expenses, and we have made, and expect to continue to make, substantial financial commitments to establish a commercial operation. There can be no assurance how quickly, if ever, we will realize a profit from our commercial operation.
Our business strategy is to become a specialty biopharmaceutical company with commercial operations to market and sell products that we may either develop internally, acquire or in‑license. Currently, we are focused on the commercialization of Macrilen™ (macimorelin), including out-licensing arrangements and pursuing in-licensing opportunities. We have to date incurred, and expect to continue to incur, substantial expenses (including restructuring costs associated with the 2017 German Restructuring described in Item 5), and we have made, and expect to continue to make, substantial financial commitments to build and maintain commercial operations. Establishing a commercial operation is expensive and time-consuming, and there can be no assurance how quickly, if ever, we will realize a profit from our commercial operations. Factors that may inhibit our efforts to realize a profit from our commercial operations include:
our ability to develop appropriate distribution and marketing infrastructure and arrangements for our product;
the lack of complementary products, which may put us at a competitive disadvantage relative to companies with more extensive product lines; 
enforcement action by the FDA, EMA or other regulatory authorities, or lawsuit by a competitor, resulting from the Company or any of its vendors, licenses, agents, or sales representatives marketing a product off-label;
compliance issues with healthcare fraud and abuse laws and regulations from multiple countries and jurisdictions; and
unforeseen costs and expenses associated with creating an independent sales and marketing organization.
Our financial viability depends, in part, on our ability to acquire, in-license or otherwise obtain the right to sell other products. If we are unable to do so, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially adversely affected.
In connection with our strategy to further transform the Company into a commercially operating specialty biopharmaceutical organization, we through Aeterna Zentaris GmbH ("AEZS Germany"), entered into a license and assignment agreement on January 16, 2018, with Strongbridge Ireland Limited ("Strongbridge") to carry out development, manufacturing, registration and commercialization of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) in the United States and Canada (the "Strongbridge License Agreement").
We may enter into additional commercial agreements with third parties, in efforts to establish and expand our commercial revenue base. These business activities entail numerous operational and financial risks, including:

6



the difficulty or inability to secure financing to acquire or in-license products;
the incurrence of substantial debt or dilutive issuances of securities to pay for the acquisition or in-licensing of new products;
the disruption of our business and diversion of our management's time and attention;
higher than expected development, acquisition or in-license and integration costs;
exposure to unknown liabilities; and
the difficulty in locating products that are in our targeted therapeutic areas and that are compatible with other products in our portfolio.
We can provide no assurance that we will be able to identify potential product candidates or strategic commercial partners or, if we identify such product candidates or partners, that any related commercial arrangements will be consummated on terms that are favorable to us. We cannot provide any assurance that the Strongbridge License Agreement will be successful, nor can we provide assurance that any future strategic commercial arrangements, or initiatives or activities resulting therefrom, will be successful. To the extent that any related investments in such arrangements, including the Strongbridge License Agreement, do not yield the expected benefits, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially adversely affected.
We have limited resources to identify and execute the procurement of additional products and to integrate them into our commercial operations. The failure to successfully integrate the personnel and operations of businesses that we may acquire or of products that we may in-license in the future with our existing operations, business and products could have a material adverse effect on our operations and results. We compete with larger pharmaceutical companies and other competitors in our efforts to acquire, in-license, and/or obtain the right to market and/or detail new products. Our competitors likely will have access to greater financial resources than us and may have greater expertise in identifying and evaluating new opportunities. Moreover, we may devote resources to potential, in-licensing opportunities that are never completed, or we may fail to realize the anticipated benefits of such efforts.
We may require significant additional financing, and we may not have access to sufficient capital.
We may require significant additional capital to fund our commercial operations and may require additional capital to pursue planned clinical trials and regulatory approvals, as well as further R&D and marketing efforts for our product candidates and potential products. Although we have capital from the Strongbridge License Agreement, we do not anticipate generating significant revenues from operations in the near future other than from the Strongbridge License Agreement, and we currently have no committed sources of capital.
We may attempt to raise additional funds through public or private financings, collaborations with other pharmaceutical companies or from other sources, including, without limitation, through at-the-market offerings and issuances of Common Shares. Additional funding may not be available on terms that are acceptable to us. If adequate funding is not available to us on reasonable terms, we may need to delay, reduce or eliminate one or more of our product development programs or obtain funds on terms less favorable than we would otherwise accept. To the extent that additional capital is raised through the sale of equity securities or securities convertible into or exchangeable or exercisable for equity securities, the issuance of those securities would result in dilution to our shareholders. Moreover, the incurrence of debt financing or the issuance of dividend-paying preferred shares, could result in a substantial portion of our future operating cash flow, if any, being dedicated to the payment of principal and interest on such indebtedness or the payment of dividends on such preferred shares and could impose restrictions on our operations and on our ability to make certain expenditures and/or to incur additional indebtedness, which could render us more vulnerable to competitive pressures and economic downturns.
Our future capital requirements are substantial and may increase beyond our current expectations depending on many factors, including:
the duration of changes to and results of our clinical trials for any future products going forward;
unexpected delays or developments in seeking regulatory approvals;
the time and cost involved in preparing, filing, prosecuting, maintaining and enforcing patent claims;
unexpected developments encountered in implementing our business development and commercialization strategies;
the potential addition of commercialized products to our portfolio;

7



the outcome of litigation, including the securities class action litigation pending against us that is described elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 20-F; and
further arrangements, if any, with collaborators.
In addition, global economic and market conditions as well as future developments in the credit and capital markets may make it even more difficult for us to raise additional financing in the future.
We are and will be subject to stringent ongoing government regulation for our products and our product candidates, even if we obtain regulatory approvals for the latter.
The manufacture, marketing and sale of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) and future products are and will be subject to strict and ongoing regulation, even with marketing approval by the FDA for Macrilen™ (macimorelin), and even if the EMA and other regulatory authorities approve our future products. Compliance with such regulation will be expensive and consume substantial financial and management resources. For example, an approval for a product may be conditioned on our agreement to conduct costly post-marketing follow-up studies to monitor the safety or efficacy of the products. In addition, as clinical experience with a drug expands after approval because the drug is used by a greater number and more diverse group of patients than during clinical trials, side effects or other problems may be observed after approval that were not observed or anticipated during pre-approval clinical trials. In such a case, a regulatory authority could restrict the indications for which the product may be sold or revoke the product's regulatory approval. Even though the New Drug Application ("NDA") regarding Macrilen™ (macimorelin) is approved by the FDA, the FDA may still require post-market clinical studies and there is a risk that the results of the studies may not meet FDA's requirements.
We and our contract manufacturers will be required to comply with applicable Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations for the manufacture of our current or future products and other regulations. These regulations include requirements relating to quality assurance, as well as the corresponding maintenance of rigorous records and documentation. Manufacturing facilities must be approved before we can use them in the commercial manufacturing of a product and are subject to subsequent periodic inspection by regulatory authorities. In addition, material changes in the methods of manufacturing or changes in the suppliers of raw materials are subject to further regulatory review and approval.
If we, or if any future marketing collaborators or contract manufacturers, fail to comply with applicable regulatory requirements, we may be subject to sanctions including fines, product recalls or seizures and related publicity requirements, injunctions, total or partial suspension of production, civil penalties, suspension or withdrawals of previously granted regulatory approvals, warning or untitled letters, refusal to approve pending applications for marketing approval of new products or of supplements to approved applications, complete withdrawal of a marketing application, exclusion from government healthcare programs, import or export bans or restrictions, and/or criminal prosecution and penalties. Any of these penalties could delay or prevent the promotion, marketing or sale of a product.
During the drug development process, regulatory agencies will typically ask questions of drug sponsors. While we endeavor to answer all such questions in a timely fashion, some questions may not be answered in time to prevent the delay of acceptance of an NDA or the rejection of an NDA. Additionally, if the Company plans to market products in other countries, the Company may fail to obtain necessary regulatory approvals in those countries. We are not opining on the success of the Company's products in the United States or in any other countries.
Even with marketing approval for Macrilen™ (macimorelin), such product approval could be subject to restrictions or withdrawals. Regulatory requirements are subject to change.
On December 20, 2017, the FDA granted marketing approval for Macrilen™ (macimorelin) to be used in the diagnosis of patients with adult growth hormone deficiency ("AGHD"). Regulatory authorities generally approve products for specified indications. If an approval is for a limited indication, this limitation reduces the size of the potential market for that product. Product approvals, once granted, are subject to continual review and periodic inspections by regulatory authorities. Our operations and practices are subject to regulation and scrutiny by the U.S. government, as well as governments of any other countries in which we do business or conduct activities. Later discovery of previously unknown problems or safety issues and/or failure to comply with domestic or foreign laws, knowingly or unknowingly, can result in various adverse consequences, including, among other things, a possible delay in the approval or refusal to approve a product, warning or untitled letters, fines, injunctions, civil penalties, recalls or seizures of products and related publicity requirements, total or partial suspension of production, import or export bans or restrictions, refusal of the government to renew marketing applications, complete withdrawal of a marketing application, criminal prosecution and penalties, suspension or withdrawals of previously granted regulatory approvals, withdrawal of an approved product from the market and/or exclusion from government healthcare programs. Such regulatory enforcement could have a direct and negative impact on the product for which approval is granted, but also could have a negative impact on the approval of any pending applications for marketing approval of new drugs or supplements to approved applications.

8



Because we operate in a highly regulated industry, regulatory authorities could take enforcement action against us in connection with our or our licensees' or collaborators', business and marketing activities for various reasons.
From time to time, new legislation is passed into law that could significantly change the statutory provisions governing the approval, manufacturing, and marketing of products regulated by the FDA, EMA and other health authorities. Additionally, regulations and guidance are often revised or reinterpreted by health agencies in ways that may significantly affect our business Macrilen™ (macimorelin) and our future products. It is impossible to predict whether further legislative changes will be enacted, or whether regulations, guidance, or interpretations will change, and what the impact of such changes, if any, may be.
Healthcare reform measures could hinder or prevent the commercial success of a product and adversely affect our business.
The business prospects and financial condition of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are affected by the efforts of governmental and third-party payers to contain or reduce the costs of healthcare. The U.S. government and other governments have shown significant interest in pursuing healthcare reform and reducing healthcare costs. Any government-adopted reform measures could cause significant pressure on the pricing of healthcare products and services, including Macrilen™ (macimorelin) and future products, both in the United States and internationally, as well as the amount of reimbursement available from governmental agencies and other third-party payers. If reimbursement for Macrilen™ (macimorelin) or future products is substantially less than we expect, our revenue prospects could be materially and adversely impacted.
In the United States and in other jurisdictions there have been, and we expect that there will continue to be, a number of legislative and regulatory proposals aimed at changing the healthcare system, such as proposals relating to the pricing of healthcare products and services in the United States or internationally, the reimportation of drugs into the U.S. from other countries (where they are then sold at a lower price), and the amount of reimbursement available from governmental agencies or other third party payers. Furthermore, the pricing of pharmaceutical products, in general, and specialty drugs, in particular, has been a topic of concern in the U.S. Congress, where hearings on the topic have been held, and has been a topic of speeches given by political figures, including President Donald Trump. Additionally, in the United States, states have also passed legislation and proposed bills that are aimed at drug pricing transparency, which will likely impact drug pricing. There can be no assurance as to how this scrutiny on pricing of pharmaceutical products will impact future pricing of Macrilen™ (macimorelin), our future products, or orphan drugs or pharmaceutical products generally.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Healthcare and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively, the "ACA") has had far-reaching consequences for most healthcare companies, including specialty biopharmaceutical companies like us. The future of the ACA is, however, uncertain. Since January 2017, the U.S. Congress has proposed various bills to revise the ACA. Additionally, President Donald Trump has suggested similar action and enacted Executive Orders to curtail the ACA and its impacts on healthcare in the United States. We cannot predict the ultimate content, timing or effect of any healthcare reform legislation or the impact of potential legislation, regulation, and orders or their impact on us.
In addition, the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 gives the FDA enhanced post-market authority, including the authority to require post-marketing studies and clinical trials, labeling changes based on new safety information, and compliance with risk evaluations and mitigation strategies approved by the FDA. The FDA's exercise of this authority may result in delays or increased costs during the period of product development, clinical trials and regulatory review and approval, which may also increase costs related to complying with new post-approval regulatory requirements, and increase potential FDA restrictions on the sale or distribution of approved products.
If we market products or interact with health care practitioners in a manner that violates healthcare fraud and abuse laws, we may be subject to civil or criminal penalties, including exclusion from participation in government healthcare programs.
As a pharmaceutical company, even though we do not provide healthcare services or receive payments directly from or bill directly to Medicare, Medicaid or other third-party payers for our current or future products, certain federal and state healthcare laws and regulations pertaining to fraud and abuse are and will be applicable to our business. We are subject to healthcare fraud and abuse regulation by both the federal government and the states in which we conduct our business.
The laws that may affect our ability to operate include the federal healthcare program anti-kickback statute, which prohibits, among other things, knowingly and willfully offering, paying, soliciting, or receiving remuneration to induce, or in return for, the purchase, lease, order, or arrangement for the purchase, lease or order of any healthcare item or service reimbursable under Medicare, Medicaid or other federally financed healthcare programs. This statute applies to arrangements between pharmaceutical manufacturers and prescribers, purchasers and formulary managers. Although there are a number of statutory exceptions and regulatory safe harbors protecting certain common activities, the exceptions and safe harbors are drawn narrowly, and practices that involve remuneration intended to induce prescribing, purchases or recommendations may be subject to scrutiny if they do not qualify for an exception or safe harbor.

9



Federal false claims laws prohibit any person from knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, a false claim for payment to the federal government, or knowingly making, or causing to be made, a false statement to get a false claim paid. Pharmaceutical companies have been prosecuted under these laws for a variety of alleged promotional and marketing activities, such as providing free product to customers with the expectation that the customers would bill federal programs for the product; reporting to pricing services inflated average wholesale prices that were then used by federal programs to set reimbursement rates; engaging in off-label promotion that caused claims to be submitted to Medicaid for non-covered off-label uses; and submitting inflated best price information to the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 also created prohibitions against healthcare fraud and false statements relating to healthcare matters. The healthcare fraud statute prohibits knowingly and willfully executing a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program, including private payers. The false statements statute prohibits knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up a material fact or making any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement in connection with the delivery of or payment for healthcare benefits, items or services.
In addition, there has been a recent trend of increased federal and state regulation of payments made to physicians. The ACA, through the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, imposed new requirements on manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologics and medical supplies for which payment is available under Medicare, Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (with certain exceptions) to report annually to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS") information related to payments or other "transfers of value" made to physicians (defined to include doctors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists and chiropractors) and teaching hospitals, and applicable manufacturers and group purchasing organizations to report annually to CMS ownership and investment interests held by physicians (as defined above) and their immediate family members and payments or other "transfers of value" to such physician owners and their immediate family members. Manufacturers are required to report such data to the government by the 90th calendar day of each year.
The majority of states also have statutes or regulations similar to these federal laws, which apply to items and services reimbursed under Medicaid and other state programs, or, in several states, apply regardless of the payer. In addition, some states have laws that require pharmaceutical companies to adopt comprehensive compliance programs. For example, under California law, pharmaceutical companies must comply with both the April 2003 Office of Inspector General Compliance Program Guidance for Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals, as amended. Certain states also mandate the tracking and reporting of gifts, compensation, and other remuneration paid by us to physicians and other healthcare providers.
Although compliance programs can mitigate the risk of investigation and prosecution for violations of these laws, the risks cannot be entirely eliminated. Any action against us for violation of these laws, even if we successfully defend against it, could cause us to incur significant legal expenses and divert our management's attention from the operation of our business. Moreover, achieving and sustaining compliance with applicable federal and state laws may prove costly.
Because of the breadth of these laws and the narrowness of the safe harbors, it is possible that some of our business activities could be subject to challenge under one or more of such laws. The ACA also made several important changes to the federal anti-kickback statute, false claims laws, and healthcare fraud statute by weakening the intent requirement under the anti-kickback and healthcare fraud statutes that may make it easier for the government or whistleblowers to charge such fraud and abuse violations. A person or entity no longer needs to have actual knowledge of this statute or specific intent to violate it. In addition, the ACA provides that the government may assert that a claim including items or services resulting from a violation of the federal anti-kickback statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the false claims statutes. In addition, the ACA increases penalties for fraud and abuse violations. If our past, present or future operations are found to be in violation of any of the laws described above or other similar governmental regulations to which we are subject, we may be subject to significant civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, fines, imprisonment, exclusion from government funded healthcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations, any of which could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and negatively impact our financial results.
If our products do not gain market acceptance, we may be unable to generate significant revenues.
Even though Macrilen™ (macimorelin) is approved for commercialization in the U.S., it may not be successful in the marketplace. Market acceptance of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) or any of our products will depend on a number of factors, including, but not limited to:
demonstration of clinical efficacy and safety;
the prevalence and severity of any adverse side effects;
limitations or warnings contained in the product's approved labeling;

10



availability of alternative treatments for the indications we target;
the advantages and disadvantages of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) or future products relative to current or alternative treatments;
the availability of acceptable pricing and adequate third-party reimbursement; and
the effectiveness of marketing and distribution methods for the products.
If Macrilen™ (macimorelin) or our future products do not gain market acceptance among physicians, patients, healthcare payers and others in the medical community, who may not accept or utilize our products, our ability to generate significant revenues from these products would be limited, and our financial condition could be materially adversely affected. In addition, if we fail to further penetrate our core markets and existing geographic markets or to successfully expand our business into new markets, the growth in sales of our current or future products, along with our operating results, could be negatively impacted.
Our ability to further penetrate our core markets and existing geographic markets in which we compete or to successfully expand our business into additional countries in Europe, Asia or elsewhere is subject to numerous factors, many of which are beyond our control. Macrilen™ (macimorelin) or our future products, if successfully developed, may compete with a number of drugs, therapies, products and tests currently manufactured and marketed by major pharmaceutical and other biotechnology companies. Macrilen™ (macimorelin) or our future products may also compete with new products currently under development by others or with products which may be less expensive than our current or future products. There can be no assurance that our efforts to increase market penetration in our core markets and existing geographic markets will be successful. Our failure to do so could have an adverse effect on our operating results and would likely cause a drop in the price of our Common Shares and/or a decline in the value of our other securities.
We may expend our limited resources to pursue a particular product or indication and fail to capitalize on other products or indications for which there may be a greater likelihood of success.
Because we have limited financial and managerial resources, we are currently focusing our efforts on Macrilen™ (macimorelin), and we are doing so for specific indications. As a result, we may forego or delay pursuit of opportunities with products or for other indications for which there may be a greater likelihood of success or may prove to have greater commercial potential. Research programs to identify new product candidates or pursue alternative indications for Macrilen™ (macimorelin) require substantial technical, financial and human resources. These activities may initially show promise in identifying potential product candidates or indications, yet fail to yield product candidates or indications for further clinical development.
We may not achieve our projected development goals in the time-frames we announce and expect.
We may set goals and make public statements regarding the timing of the accomplishment of objectives material to our success, such as the commencement, enrollment and anticipated completion of clinical trials, anticipated regulatory submission and approval dates and time of product launch. The actual timing of these events can vary dramatically due to factors such as delays or failures in any clinical trials, the uncertainties inherent in the regulatory approval process and delays in achieving manufacturing or marketing arrangements sufficient to commercialize Macrilen™ (macimorelin) or future products. There can be no assurance that we will make regulatory submissions or receive regulatory approvals as planned or that Strongbridge will be able to adhere to its current schedule for the launch of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) or for any future products we might acquire or license. If we fail to achieve one or more of these milestones as planned, the price of our Common Shares and/or the value of our other securities would likely decline.
If we fail to obtain acceptable prices or adequate reimbursement for Macrilen™ (macimorelin) or future products, our ability to generate revenues will be diminished.
Our ability or that of our licensee(s) to successfully commercialize Macrilen™ (macimorelin) or future products will depend significantly on our or their ability to obtain acceptable prices and the availability of reimbursement to the patient from third-party payers, such as governmental and private insurance plans. These third-party payers frequently require companies to provide predetermined discounts from list prices, and they are increasingly challenging the prices charged for pharmaceuticals and other medical products. Macrilen™ (macimorelin) or our future products may not be considered cost-effective, and reimbursement to the patient may not be available or sufficient to allow us or our licensee(s) to sell our products on a competitive basis. It may not be possible to negotiate favorable reimbursement rates for Macrilen™ (macimorelin) or future products. Adverse pricing and reimbursement conditions would also likely diminish our ability to induce third parties to in-license Macrilen™ (macimorelin) or our future products.
In addition, the continuing efforts of third-party payers to contain or reduce the costs of healthcare through various means may limit our commercial opportunity and reduce any associated revenue and profits. We expect that proposals to implement similar government controls will continue. The pricing of pharmaceutical products, in general, and specialty drugs, in particular, has been

11



a topic of concern in the U.S. Congress, where hearings on the topic have been held, and has been a topic of speeches given by political figures, including President Donald Trump. Specifically, there have been several recent U.S. Congressional inquiries and proposed bills designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to drug pricing, review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs, and reform government program reimbursement methodologies for drugs. Additionally, there is drug pricing reform taking place at the state level in the United States, in the form of laws and bills, that will impact how pharmaceutical companies can market and sell drug products and at what price. Further, third-party payers are increasingly challenging the price, examining the medical necessity and reviewing the cost-effectiveness of medical drug products and medical services, in addition to questioning their safety and efficacy. There can be no assurance as to how this scrutiny on pricing of pharmaceutical products will impact future pricing of a product or orphan drugs or pharmaceutical products generally. In addition, increasing emphasis on managed care will continue to put pressure on the pricing of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical products. Cost control initiatives could decrease the price that we or any current or potential collaborators could receive a product and could adversely affect our profitability. In addition, in the United States, Canada and many other countries, pricing and/or profitability of some or all prescription pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals are subject to government control.
If we or our licensee(s) fail to obtain acceptable prices or an adequate level of reimbursement for Macrilen™ (macimorelin) or future products, the sales of these products would be adversely affected or there may be no commercially viable market for these products.
Competition in our targeted markets is intense, and development by other companies could render Macrilen™ (macimorelin) or future products or technologies non-competitive.
The biopharmaceutical field is highly competitive. New products developed by other companies in the industry could render Macrilen™ (macimorelin) or future products uncompetitive. Competitors are developing and testing products and technologies that would compete with Macrilen™ (macimorelin) or products that we could develop, acquire or license. Some of these products may be more effective or have an entirely different approach or means of accomplishing the desired effect than Macrilen™ (macimorelin) or future products. We expect competition from pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies and academic research institutions to continue to increase over time. Many of our competitors and potential competitors have substantially greater product development capabilities and financial, scientific, marketing and human resources than we do. Our competitors may succeed in developing products earlier and in obtaining regulatory approvals and patent protection for such products more rapidly than we can or at a lower price.
We may not obtain adequate protection for our products through our intellectual property.
We rely heavily on our proprietary information in developing and manufacturing our product candidates. Our success depends, in large part, on our ability to protect our competitive position through patents, trade secrets, trademarks and other intellectual property rights. The patent positions of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical firms, including us, are uncertain and involve complex questions of law and fact for which important legal issues remain unresolved. We have filed and are pursuing applications for patents and trademarks in many countries. Pending patent applications may not result in the issuance of patents and we may not be able to obtain additional issued patents relating to our technology or products.
The laws of some countries do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States and Canada. Many companies have encountered significant problems in protecting and defending such rights in foreign jurisdictions. Many countries, including certain countries in Europe, have compulsory licensing laws under which a patent owner may be compelled to grant licenses to third parties. In addition, many countries limit the enforceability of patents against government agencies or government contractors. In these countries, the patent owner may have limited remedies, which could materially diminish the value of the patent. Compulsory licensing of life-saving drugs is also becoming increasingly popular in developing countries either through direct legislation or international initiatives. Such compulsory licenses could be extended to include some of our product candidates, which could limit our potential revenue opportunities. Moreover, the legal systems of certain countries, particularly certain developing countries, do not favor the aggressive enforcement of patent and other intellectual property protection, which makes it difficult to stop and prevent infringement.
Our patents and/or the patents that we license from others may be challenged, narrowed, invalidated, held to be unenforceable or circumvented, which could limit our ability to stop competitors from marketing similar products or limit the length of term of patent protection we may have for our products. Changes in either patent laws or in interpretations of patent laws in the U.S. and other countries may diminish the value of our intellectual property or narrow the scope of our patent protection. The patents issued or to be issued to us may not provide us with any competitive advantage or protect us against competitors with similar technology. In addition, it is possible that third parties with products that are very similar to ours will circumvent our patents by means of alternate designs or processes. We may have to rely on method-of-use, methods of manufacture and/or new-formulation protection for our compounds in development, and any resulting products, which may not confer the same protection as claims to compounds per se.

12



In addition, our patents may be challenged by third parties in patent litigation, which is becoming widespread in the biopharmaceutical industry. There may be prior art of which we are not aware that may affect the validity or enforceability of a patent claim. There may also be prior art of which we are aware, but which we do not believe affects the validity or enforceability of a claim, which may, nonetheless, ultimately be found to affect the validity or enforceability of a claim. No assurance can be given that our patents would, if challenged, be held by a court to be valid or enforceable or that a competitor's technology or product would be found by a court to infringe our patents. Our granted patents could also be challenged and revoked in U.S.  post-grant proceedings as well as in opposition or nullity proceedings in certain countries outside the U.S.  In addition, we may be required to disclaim part of the term of certain patents.
Patent applications relating to or affecting our business have been filed by a number of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies and academic institutions. A number of the technologies in these applications or patents may conflict with our technologies, patents or patent applications, and any such conflict could reduce the scope of patent protection that we could otherwise obtain. Because patent applications in the U.S. and many other jurisdictions are typically not published until eighteen months after their first effective filing date, or in some cases not at all, and because publications of discoveries in the scientific literature often lag behind actual discoveries, we cannot be certain that we were the first to make the inventions claimed in issued patents or pending patent applications, or that we were the first to file for protection of the inventions set forth in the patent applications. If a third party has also filed a patent application in the U.S.  covering our product candidates or a similar invention, we may have to participate in adversarial proceedings, such as interferences and deviation proceedings, before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and/or applicable adjudicators to determine which party is entitled to a U.S. patent claiming the disputed invention. The costs of these proceedings could be substantial and it is possible that our efforts could be unsuccessful, resulting in a loss of our U.S. patent position.
We also rely on trade secrets and proprietary know-how to protect our intellectual property. If we are unable to protect the confidentiality of our proprietary information and know-how, the value of our technology and products could be adversely affected. We seek to protect our unpatented proprietary information in part by requiring our employees, consultants, outside scientific collaborators and sponsored researchers and other advisors to enter into confidentiality agreements. These agreements provide that all confidential information developed or made known to the individual during the course of the individual's relationship with us is to be kept confidential and not disclosed to third parties except in specific circumstances. In the case of our employees, the agreements provide that all of the technology that is conceived by the individual during the course of employment is our exclusive property. These agreements may not provide meaningful protection or adequate remedies in the event of unauthorized use or disclosure of our proprietary information. In addition, it is possible that third parties could independently develop proprietary information and techniques substantially similar to ours or otherwise gain access to our trade secrets. If we are unable to protect the confidentiality of our proprietary information and know-how, competitors may be able to use this information to develop products that compete with our products and technologies, which could adversely impact our business.
We currently have the right to use certain patents and technologies under license agreements with third parties. Our failure to comply with the requirements of one or more of our license agreements could result in the termination of such agreements, which could cause us to terminate the related development program and cause a complete loss of our investment in that program. Inventions claimed in certain in-licensed patents may have been made with funding from the U.S.  government and may be subject to the rights of the U.S.  government and we may be subject to additional requirements in the event we seek to commercialize or manufacture product candidates incorporating such in-licensed technology.
As a result of the foregoing factors, we may not be able to rely on our intellectual property to protect our products in the marketplace.
We may infringe the intellectual property rights of others.
Our commercial success depends significantly on our ability to operate without infringing the patents and other intellectual property rights of third parties. There could be issued patents of which we are not aware that our products or methods may be found to infringe, or patents of which we are aware and believe we do not infringe but which we may ultimately be found to infringe. Moreover, patent applications and their underlying discoveries are in some cases maintained in secrecy until patents are issued. Because patents can take many years to issue, there may be currently pending applications of which we are unaware that may later result in issued patents that our products or technologies are found to infringe. Moreover, there may be published pending applications that do not currently include a claim covering our products or technologies but which nonetheless provide support for a later drafted claim that, if issued, our products or technologies could be found to infringe.
If we infringe or are alleged to infringe intellectual property rights of third parties, it will adversely affect our business. Third parties may own or control these patents or patent applications in the U.S. and abroad. These third parties could bring claims against us or our collaborators that would cause us to incur substantial expenses and, if successful against us, could cause us to pay substantial damages. Further, if a patent infringement suit were brought against us or our collaborators, we or they could be

13



forced to stop or delay research, development, manufacturing or sales of the product or product candidate that is the subject of the suit.
The biopharmaceutical industry has produced a proliferation of patents, and it is not always clear to industry participants, including us, which patents cover various types of products. The coverage of patents is subject to interpretation by the courts, and the interpretation is not always uniform. In the event of infringement or violation of another party's patent or other intellectual property rights, we may not be able to enter into licensing arrangements or make other arrangements at a reasonable cost. Any inability to secure licenses or alternative technology could result in delays in the introduction of our products or lead to prohibition of the manufacture or sale of products by us or our partners and collaborators.
Patent litigation is costly and time consuming and may subject us to liabilities.
If we become involved in any patent litigation, interference, opposition, re-examination or other administrative proceedings we will likely incur substantial expenses in connection therewith, and the efforts of our technical and management personnel will be significantly diverted. In addition, an adverse determination in litigation could subject us to significant liabilities.
We may not obtain trademark registrations for our current or future products.
We have filed applications for trademark registrations, including Macrilen™ (macimorelin), in various jurisdictions, including the U.S. We may file applications for other possible trademarks for current or future products in the future. No assurance can be given that any of our trademarks will be registered in the U.S. or elsewhere, or that the use of any registered or unregistered trademarks will confer a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
We rely on third parties to conduct, supervise and monitor our clinical trials, and those third parties may not perform satisfactorily.
We are not currently conducting any clinical trials but we may decide to do so in the future. We rely on third parties such as contract resource organizations, medical institutions and clinical investigators to enroll qualified patients and to conduct, supervise and monitor our clinical trials. Our reliance on these third parties for clinical development activities reduces our control over these activities. Our reliance on these third parties, however, does not relieve us of our regulatory responsibilities, including ensuring that our clinical trials are conducted in accordance with Good Clinical Practice guidelines and the investigational plan and protocols contained in an Investigational New Drug application to the FDA, or a comparable foreign regulatory submission. Furthermore, these third parties may also have relationships with other entities, some of which may be our competitors. In addition, they may not complete activities on schedule, or may not conduct our preclinical studies or clinical trials in accordance with regulatory requirements or our trial design. If these third parties do not successfully carry out their contractual duties or meet expected deadlines, our efforts to obtain regulatory approvals for, and to commercialize, our products may be delayed or prevented.
In carrying out our operations, we are dependent on a stable and consistent supply of ingredients and raw materials.
There can be no assurance that we, our contract manufacturers or our licensees, will be able, in the future, to continue to purchase products from our current suppliers or any other supplier on terms that are favorable or similar to current terms or at all. An interruption in the availability of certain raw materials or ingredients, or significant increases in the prices we pay for them, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, liquidity and operating results.
The failure to perform satisfactorily by third parties upon which we expect to rely to manufacture and supply products may lead to supply shortfalls.
We expect to rely on third parties to manufacture and supply marketed products. We also have or may have certain supply obligations vis-à-vis our existing and potential licensees, who are or will be responsible for the marketing of the products. To be successful, our current or future products have to be manufactured in commercial quantities in compliance with quality controls and regulatory requirements. Even though it is our objective to minimize such risk by introducing alternative suppliers to ensure a constant supply at all times, there are a limited number of contract manufacturers or suppliers that are capable of manufacturing our current or future products or the materials used in their manufacture. If we are unable to do so ourselves or to arrange for third-party manufacturing or supply of these products or materials, or to do so on commercially reasonable terms, we may not be able to complete development of these products or to commercialize them ourselves or through our licensees. Reliance on third-party manufacturers entails risks to which we would not be subject if we manufactured products ourselves, including reliance on the third party for regulatory compliance, the possibility of breach of the manufacturing agreement by the third party because of factors beyond our control, and the possibility of termination or non-renewal of the agreement by the third party, based on its own business priorities, at a time that is costly or inconvenient for us.
We are subject to intense competition for our skilled personnel, and the loss of key personnel or the inability to attract additional personnel could impair our ability to conduct our operations.

14



We are highly dependent on our management and our clinical, regulatory and scientific staff, the loss of whose services might adversely impact our ability to achieve our objectives. Recruiting and retaining qualified management and clinical, scientific and regulatory personnel is critical to our success. Reductions in our staffing levels have eliminated redundancies in key capabilities and skill sets among our full-time staff and required us to rely more heavily on outside consultants and third parties. We have been unable to increase the compensation of our associates to the extent required to remain fully competitive for their services, which increased our employee retention risk. The competition for qualified personnel in the biopharmaceutical field is intense, and if we are not able to continue to attract and retain qualified personnel and/or maintain positive relationships with our outside consultants, we may not be able to achieve our strategic and operational objectives.
We are currently subject to the following litigation matters and we may be subject to similar or other litigation in the future.
Securities class action litigation
We and certain of our current and former officers are defendants in a class-action lawsuit pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (the "Court"), brought on behalf of shareholders of the Company. The lawsuit alleges violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act") in connection with allegedly false and misleading statements made by the defendants between April 2, 2012 and November 6, 2014 (the "Class Period"), regarding the safety and efficacy of Macrilen™ (macimorelin), and the prospects for the approval of the Company's NDA for the product by the FDA. The plaintiffs represent a class comprised of purchasers of our Common Shares during the Class Period and seek damages, costs and expenses and such other relief as determined by the Court. On September 14, 2015, the Court dismissed the lawsuit stating that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim, but granted the plaintiffs leave to amend. On October 14, 2015, the plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint against us. We subsequently filed a motion to dismiss because we believed that the second amended complaint also failed to state a claim.
On March 2, 2016, the Court issued an order granting our motion to dismiss the complaint in part and denying it in part.  The Court dismissed certain of our current and former officers from the lawsuit.  The Court allowed the claim that we omitted material facts from our public statements during the Class Period to proceed against us and our former Chief Executive Officer, who departed in 2013, while dismissing such claims against other current and former officers.  The Court also allowed a claim for "controlling person" liability to proceed against certain current and former officers.  On March 16, 2016, we filed a motion for reconsideration of the Court's March 2, 2016 order and on April 6, 2016 we filed an answer to the second amended complaint. On June 30, 2016, the Court issued an order denying our motion for reconsideration. On February 28, 2018, the Court granted a motion for class certification which we appealed. We filed an interlocutory petition for review on March 14, 2018.  Lead Plaintiff’s opposition to the petition was due on Monday, March 26, 2018. The discovery process has commenced and is on-going. While we believe we have meritorious defenses and intend to continue to defend this lawsuit vigorously, we cannot predict the outcome.
Litigation pertaining to former officers of the Company
In late July 2017, we terminated for cause the employment of Mr. David A. Dodd, the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and we also terminated the employment of Mr. Philip A. Theodore, the former Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of the Company. All outstanding stock options held by both former officers were cancelled effective as of their respective termination dates, in accordance with the provisions of our Stock Option Plan (as defined below).
On August 3, 2017, we announced that we had filed a lawsuit against both Messrs. Dodd and Theodore for damages suffered by us for breach of confidence and/or breach of fiduciary duty in an amount to be determined prior to trial. We are also seeking, among other things, an injunction to prevent both Messrs. Dodd and Theodore from: (i) continuing to use our confidential and proprietary information without authorization; and (ii) mounting a proxy contest that will be premised upon the breaches of fiduciary and statutory duties and breaches of confidence alleged in the lawsuit. We engaged external counsel to conduct an internal investigation related to this lawsuit, which is still ongoing. Messrs. Dodd and Theodore have requested indemnification advances from the Company to cover their expenses in defending this lawsuit. On December 21, 2017, Messrs. Dodd and Theodore brought a counterclaim against the Company and its Chair, Carolyn Egbert, in the amount of CAN$6.0 million alleging, among other things, that defamatory statements were made against Messrs. Dodd and Theodore. The Company and its Chair consider the counterclaim against them to be entirely without merit, and intend to vigorously defend against the counterclaim.
On August 4, 2017, Mr. Dodd filed a lawsuit in the Court of Common Pleas of South Carolina against us for damages of approximately U.S.$1.7 million, alleging breach of his employment contract. He is also requesting that all of his outstanding stock options vest effective upon his termination date. On September 5, 2017, the lawsuit in the Court of Common Pleas of South Carolina was moved to the Federal Court in South Carolina. The court has set a scheduling order, with discovery set to end on June 29, 2018. While we believe we have meritorious defenses and intend to continue to defend this lawsuit vigorously, we cannot predict the outcome.

15



Cogas litigation
Cogas Consulting, LLC ('Cogas') filed a lawsuit against the Company in state court in Fulton County, Georgia on February 2, 2018. Cogas alleges that its employee (and sole shareholder) John Sharkey is entitled to a "success fee" commission on the Strongbridge License Agreement. Cogas is claiming damages in the form of a lost commission on the transaction. Cogas claims its commission is 5% on payments the Company receives within the first three years after January 14, 2018. Cogas alleges it is entitled to 5% of the $24 million that Strongbridge already paid the Company, plus 5% of any royalty Strongbridge pays the Company through January 17, 2021. The Company plans to vigorously defend this matter.
Furthermore, we may, from time to time, be a party to other litigation in the normal course of business. Monitoring and defending against legal actions, whether or not meritorious, is time-consuming for our management and detracts from our ability to fully focus our internal resources on our business activities. In addition, legal fees and costs incurred in connection with such activities may be significant and we could, in the future, be subject to judgments or enter into settlements of claims for significant monetary damages. A decision adverse to our interests could result in the payment of substantial damages and could have a material adverse effect on our cash flow, results of operations and financial position.
With respect to any litigation, our insurance may not reimburse us or may not be sufficient to reimburse us for the expenses or losses we may suffer in contesting and concluding such lawsuit. Substantial litigation costs, including the substantial self-insured retention that we are required to satisfy before any insurance applies to a claim, unreimbursed legal fees or an adverse result in any litigation may adversely impact our business, operating results or financial condition. We believe that our directors' and officers' liability insurance will cover our potential liability with respect to the securities class-action lawsuit and the litigation pertaining to former officers of the Company described above; however, the insurer has reserved its rights to contest the applicability of the insurance to such claims and the limits of the insurance may be insufficient to cover our eventual liability.
We are subject to the risk of product liability claims, for which we may not have or may not be able to obtain adequate insurance coverage.
The use of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) on human participants in our clinical trials subjects us to the risk of liability to such participants, who may suffer unintended consequences. The sale and use of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) will involve the risk of product liability claims and associated adverse publicity. Product liability claims might be made against us directly by patients, healthcare providers or pharmaceutical companies or others selling, buying or using our products. We attempt to manage our liability risks by means of insurance. We maintain insurance covering our liability for our preclinical and clinical studies as well as products liability insurance. However, we may not have or be able to obtain or maintain sufficient and affordable insurance coverage, including coverage for potentially very significant legal expenses, and without sufficient coverage any claim brought against us could have a materially adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Our business involves the use of hazardous materials. We are required to comply with environmental and occupational safety laws regulating the use of such materials. If we violate these laws, we could be subject to significant fines, liabilities or other adverse consequences.
Our discovery and development processes involve the controlled use of hazardous materials. We are subject to federal, provincial and local laws and regulations governing the use, manufacture, storage, handling and disposal of such materials and certain waste products. The risk of accidental contamination or injury from these materials cannot be eliminated. In the event of an accident or a failure to comply with environmental or occupational safety laws, we could be held liable for any damages that result, and any such liability could exceed our resources. We may not be adequately insured against this type of liability. We may be required to incur significant costs to comply with environmental laws and regulations in the future, and our operations, business or assets may be materially adversely affected by current or future environmental laws or regulations.
We are a holding company, and claims of creditors of our subsidiaries will generally have priority as to the assets of such subsidiaries over our claims and those of our creditors and shareholders. In addition, we may be required to fund obligations of AEZS Germany.
Aeterna Zentaris Inc. is a holding company and a substantial portion of our non-cash assets is the share capital of our subsidiaries. AEZS Germany, our principal operating subsidiary, based in Frankfurt, Germany, holds most of our intellectual property rights. Because Aeterna Zentaris Inc. is a holding company, our obligations to our creditors are structurally subordinated to all existing and future liabilities of our subsidiaries, which may incur additional or other liabilities and/or obligations. Therefore, our rights and the rights of our creditors to participate in any distribution of the assets of any subsidiary in the event that such subsidiary were to be liquidated or reorganized or in the event of any bankruptcy or insolvency proceeding relating to or involving such subsidiary, and therefore the rights of the holders of our Common Shares to participate in those assets, are subject to the prior claims of such subsidiary's creditors. To the extent that we may be a creditor with recognized claims against any such subsidiary,

16



our claims would still be subject to the prior claims of our subsidiary's creditors to the extent that they are secured or senior to those held by us.
Holders of our Common Shares are not creditors of our subsidiaries. Claims to the assets of our subsidiaries will derive from our own ownership interest in those operating subsidiaries. Claims of our subsidiaries' creditors will generally have priority as to the assets of such subsidiaries over our own ownership interest claims and will therefore have priority over the holders of our Common Shares. Our subsidiaries' creditors may from time to time include general creditors, trade creditors, employees, secured creditors, taxing authorities, and creditors holding guarantees. Accordingly, in the event of any foreclosure, dissolution, winding-up, liquidation or reorganization, or a bankruptcy, insolvency or creditor protection proceeding relating to us or our property, or any subsidiary, there can be no assurance as to the value, if any, that would be available to holders of our Common Shares. In addition, any distributions to us by our subsidiaries could be subject to monetary transfer restrictions in the jurisdictions in which our subsidiaries operate.
We provided the Letter of Comfort to AEZS Germany in 2017 and prior years because German law imposes an obligation on the managing director of AEZS Germany to institute insolvency proceedings if the managing director concludes that AEZS Germany is insolvent because it is either illiquid or "over-indebted". The purpose of the Letter of Comfort is to preclude the managing director from determining that AEZS Germany is illiquid or over-indebted. The Letter of Comfort will be sufficient for that purpose only as long as the managing director reasonably believes that we will be able to honor our obligations under the Letter of Comfort. If we fail to renew the Letter of Comfort or if the managing director concludes that we will be unable to honor our obligations under the Letter of Comfort, the managing director of AEZS Germany may determine that he or she is obligated to institute insolvency proceedings in Germany for AEZS Germany.
Because we are a holding company and because we may have an obligation to advance funds to AEZS Germany to prevent it from becoming either illiquid or over-indebted, we may be required to use our cash to fund payments by AEZS Germany to its creditors. Therefore, in the event of any winding-up, liquidation or reorganization, or a bankruptcy or insolvency proceeding relating to us or our property, there can be no assurance as to the value or assets, if any, that would be available to holders of our Common Shares because we may be required to advance cash to AEZS Germany.
It may be difficult for U.S. investors to obtain and enforce judgments against us because of our Canadian incorporation and German presence.
We are a company existing under the laws of Canada. A number of our directors and officers, and certain of the experts named herein, are residents of Canada or otherwise reside outside the U.S., and all or a substantial portion of their assets, and a substantial portion of our assets, are located outside the U.S. Consequently, although we have appointed an agent for service of process in the U.S., it may be difficult for investors in the U.S. to bring an action against such directors, officers or experts or to enforce against those persons or us a judgment obtained in a U.S. court predicated upon the civil liability provisions of federal securities laws or other laws of the U.S.  Investors should not assume that foreign courts (i) would enforce judgments of U.S. courts obtained in actions against us or such directors, officers or experts predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the U.S.  federal securities laws or the securities or "blue sky" laws of any state within the U.S. or (ii) would enforce, in original actions, liabilities against us or such directors, officers or experts predicated upon the U.S. federal securities laws or any such state securities or "blue sky" laws.
We are subject to various internal control reporting requirements under applicable Canadian securities laws and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the U.S. We can provide no assurance that we will at all times in the future be able to report that our internal controls over financial reporting are effective.
As a public company, we are required to comply with Section 404 of the U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act ("Section 404") and National Instrument 52-109 - Certification of Disclosure in Issuers' Annual and Interim Filings of the Canadian securities administrators. In any given year, we cannot be certain as to the time of completion of our internal control evaluation, testing and remediation actions or of their impact on our operations. Upon completion of this process, we may identify control deficiencies of varying degrees of severity under applicable SEC and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (U.S.) rules and regulations. As a public company, we are required to report, among other things, control deficiencies that constitute material weaknesses or changes in internal controls that, or that are reasonably likely to, materially affect internal controls over financial reporting. A "material weakness" is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual consolidated financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. If we fail to comply with the requirements of Section 404 or similar Canadian requirements or if we report a material weakness, we might be subject to regulatory sanction and investors may lose confidence in our consolidated financial statements, which may be inaccurate if we fail to remedy such material weakness.
It is possible that we may be a passive foreign investment company, which could result in adverse tax consequences to U.S. investors.

17



Adverse U.S. federal income tax rules apply to "U.S. Holders" (as defined in "Item 10.E - Taxation - Certain Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations" in this Annual Report on Form 20-F) who directly or indirectly hold Common Shares of a passive foreign investment company ("PFIC"). We will be classified as a PFIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes for a taxable year if (i) at least 75% of our gross income is "passive income" or (ii) at least 50% of the average value of our assets, including goodwill (based on annual quarterly average), is attributable to assets which produce passive income or are held for the production of passive income.
We believe that we were a PFIC for the 2015 taxable year, but were not a PFIC for the 2016 and 2017 taxable years. However, the PFIC determination depends on the application of complex U.S. federal income tax rules concerning the classification of our assets and income for this purpose, and these rules are uncertain in some respects. In addition, the fair market value of our assets may be determined in large part by the market price of our Common Shares, which is likely to fluctuate, and the composition of our income and assets will be affected by how, and how quickly, we spend any cash that is raised in any financing transaction. No assurance can be provided that we will not be classified as a PFIC for the 2018 taxable year and for any future taxable year.
If we are a PFIC for any taxable year during which a U.S. Holder holds Common Shares, we generally would continue to be treated as a PFIC with respect to that U.S. Holder for all succeeding years during which the U.S. Holder holds such Common Shares, even if we ceased to meet the threshold requirements for PFIC status. PFIC characterization could result in adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences to U.S. Holders. In particular, absent certain elections, a U.S. Holder would generally be subject to U.S. federal income tax at ordinary income tax rates, plus a possible interest charge, in respect of a gain derived from a disposition of our Common Shares, as well as certain distributions by us. If we are treated as a PFIC for any taxable year, a U.S. Holder may be able to make an election to "mark to market" Common Shares each taxable year and recognize ordinary income pursuant to such election based upon increases in the value of the Common Shares. In addition, U.S. Holders may mitigate the adverse tax consequences of the PFIC rules by making a "qualified electing fund" ("QEF") election; however, there can be no assurance that the Company will satisfy the record keeping requirements applicable to a QEF or that it will provide the information regarding its income that would be necessary for a U.S. Holder to make a QEF election.
If the Company is a PFIC, U.S. Holders will generally be required to file an annual information return with the Internal Revenue Service (the "IRS") (on IRS Form 8621, which PFIC shareholders will be required to file with their U.S. federal income tax or information returns) relating to their ownership of Common Shares. This filing requirement is in addition to any preexisting reporting requirements that apply to a U.S. Holder's interest in a PFIC (which this requirement does not affect).
For a more detailed discussion of the potential tax impact of us being a PFIC, see "Item 10.E - Taxation - Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations" in this Annual Report on Form 20-F. The PFIC rules are complex. U.S. Holders should consult their tax advisors regarding the potential application of the PFIC regime and any reporting obligations to which they may be subject under that regime.
Our net operating losses may be limited for U.S. federal income tax purposes under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code.
If a corporation with net operating losses ("NOLs") undergoes an "ownership change" within the meaning of Section 382 of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, then such corporation's use of such "pre-change" NOLs to offset income incurred following such ownership change may be limited. Such limitation also may apply to certain losses or deductions that are "built-in" (i.e., attributable to periods prior to the ownership change but not yet taken into account for tax purposes) as of the date of the ownership change that are subsequently recognized. An ownership change generally occurs when there is either (i) a shift in ownership involving one or more "5% shareholders"; or (ii) an "equity structure shift" and, as a result, the percentage of stock of the corporation owned by one or more 5% shareholders (based on value) has increased by more than 50 percentage points over the lowest percentage of stock of the corporation owned by such shareholders during the "testing period" (generally the 3 years preceding the testing date). In general, if such change occurs, the corporation's ability to utilize its net operating loss carry-forwards and certain other tax attributes would be subject to an annual limitation, as described below. The unused portion of any such net operating loss carry-forwards or tax attributes each year is carried forward, subject to the same limitation in future years. The impact of an ownership change on state NOL carryforwards may vary from state to state. Recent legislation added several limitations to the ability to claim deductions for NOLs, including a deduction limit equal to 80% of taxable income and a restriction on NOL carryback deductions.
We may incur losses associated with foreign currency fluctuations.
Our operations are in many instances conducted in currencies other than our functional currency or the functional currencies of our subsidiaries. Fluctuations in the value of currencies could cause us to incur currency exchange losses. We do not currently employ a hedging strategy against exchange rate risk. We cannot assert with any assurance that we will not suffer losses as a result of unfavorable fluctuations in the exchange rates between the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Canadian dollar and other currencies.

18



Legislative actions, new accounting pronouncements and higher insurance costs may adversely impact our future financial position or results of operations.
Changes in financial accounting standards or implementation of accounting standards may cause adverse, unexpected revenue or expense fluctuations and affect our financial position or results of operations. New pronouncements and varying interpretations of pronouncements have occurred with greater frequency and are expected to occur in the future, and we may make or be required to make changes in our accounting policies in the future. Compliance with changing regulations of corporate governance and public disclosure, notably with respect to internal controls over financial reporting, may result in additional expenses. Changing laws, regulations and standards relating to corporate governance and public disclosure are creating uncertainty for companies such as ours, and insurance costs are increasing as a result of this uncertainty.
Data security breaches may disrupt our operations and adversely affect our operating results.
Our network security and data recovery measures and those of third parties with which we contract, may not be adequate to protect against computer viruses, cyber-attacks, breaches, and similar disruptions from unauthorized tampering with our computer systems. The misappropriation, theft, sabotage or any other type of security breach with respect to any of our proprietary and confidential information that is electronically stored, including research or clinical data, could cause interruptions in our operations, could result in a material disruption of our clinical activities and business operations and could expose us to third-party legal claims. Furthermore, we could be required to make substantial expenditures of resources to remedy the cause of cyber-attacks or break-ins. This disruption could have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results and financial condition. Additionally, any break-in or trespass of our facilities that results in the misappropriation, theft, sabotage or any other type of security breach with respect to our proprietary and confidential information, including research or clinical data, or that results in damage to our R&D equipment and assets could have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, and financial condition.
Our business processes personal information, both in connection with clinical activities and our employees. The use of this information is critical to our operations and innovation, including the development of our products, as well as management of our employees. New and evolving regulations, such as the European Union General Data Protection Regulation, could bring increased scrutiny of our data management in the future. Any cyber-attacks or other failure to protect critical and sensitive systems and information could damage our reputation, prompt litigation or lead to regulatory sanctions, all of which could materially affect our financial condition and results of operation.


19



Risks Relating to our Common Shares
Our Common Shares may be delisted from the NASDAQ Capital Market ("NASDAQ") or the Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSX"), which could affect their market price and liquidity. If our Common Shares were to be delisted, investors may have difficulty in disposing of their shares.
Our Common Shares are currently listed on both NASDAQ and TSX under the symbol "AEZS". We must meet continuing listing requirements to maintain the listing of our Common Shares on NASDAQ and TSX. For continued listing, NASDAQ requires, among other things, that listed securities maintain a minimum closing bid price of not less than $1.00 per share. There can be no assurance that the market price of our Common Shares will not fall below $1.00 in the future or that, if it does, we will regain compliance with the minimum bid price requirement.
In addition to the minimum bid price requirement, the continued listing rules of NASDAQ require us to meet at least one of the following listing standards: (i) stockholders' equity of at least $2.5 million, (ii) market value of listed securities (calculated by multiplying the daily closing bid price of our Common Shares by our total outstanding Common Shares) of at least $35 million or (iii) net income from continuing operations (in the latest fiscal year or in two of the last three fiscal years) of at least $500,000 (collectively, the "Additional Listing Standards"). If we fail to meet at least one of the Additional Listing Standards, our Common Shares may be subject to delisting after the expiration of the period of time, if any, that we are allowed for regaining compliance.
As at December 31, 2017, we were not in compliance with the continued listing standards of NASDAQ. However, in January 2018, we received an upfront milestone payment of $24 million pursuant to the Strongbridge License Agreement and we believe that the impact of this payment will cure any default of the continuing listing standards of NASDAQ that might have been present as at December 31, 2017, however there is no assurance that we will obtain and maintain compliance or that NASDAQ will determine that we have achieved compliance.
There can be no assurance that our Common Shares will remain listed on NASDAQ or TSX. If we fail to meet any of NASDAQ's or TSX's continued listing requirements, our Common Shares may be delisted. Any delisting of our Common Shares may adversely affect a shareholder's ability to dispose, or obtain quotations as to the market value, of such shares.
Our share price is volatile, which may result from factors outside of our control.
Our valuation and share price since the beginning of trading after our initial listings, first in Canada and then in the U.S., have had no meaningful relationship to current or historical financial results, asset values, book value or many other criteria based on conventional measures of the value of shares.
Between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017, the closing price of our Common Shares ranged from $0.84 to $3.65 per share on NASDAQ and from C$1.13 to C$4.81 per share on TSX. Our share price may be affected by developments directly affecting our business and by developments out of our control or unrelated to us. The stock market generally, and the biopharmaceutical sector in particular, are vulnerable to abrupt changes in investor sentiment. Prices of shares and trading volume of companies in the biopharmaceutical industry can swing dramatically in ways unrelated to, or that bear a disproportionate relationship to, operating performance. Our share price and trading volume may fluctuate based on a number of factors including, but not limited to:
clinical and regulatory developments regarding our product candidates;
delays in our anticipated development or commercialization timelines;
developments regarding current or future third-party collaborators and licensee(s);
announcements by us regarding technological, product development or other matters;
arrivals or departures of key personnel;
governmental or regulatory action affecting our product candidates and our competitors' products in the U.S., Canada and other countries;
developments or disputes concerning patent or proprietary rights;
actual or anticipated fluctuations in our revenues or expenses;
general market conditions and fluctuations for the emerging growth and biopharmaceutical market sectors; and
economic conditions in the U.S., Canada or abroad.

20



Our listing on both NASDAQ and TSX may increase price volatility due to various factors, including different ability to buy or sell our Common Shares, different market conditions in different capital markets and different trading volumes. In addition, low trading volume may increase the price volatility of our Common Shares. A thin trading market could cause the price of our Common Shares to fluctuate significantly more than the stock market as a whole.
We do not intend to pay dividends in the near future.
To date, we have not declared or paid any dividends on our Common Shares. We currently intend to retain our future earnings, if any, to finance further research and the overall commercial expansion of our business. As a result, the return on an investment in our Common Shares will depend upon any future appreciation in value. There is no guarantee that our Common Shares or any of our other securities will appreciate in value or even maintain the price at which shareholders have purchased them.
Future issuances of securities and hedging activities may depress the trading price of our Common Shares.
Any additional or future issuance of Common Shares or Convertible Securities, including the issuance of Common Shares upon the exercise of stock options and upon the exercise of warrants, could dilute the interests of our existing shareholders, and could substantially decrease the trading price of our Common Shares.
We may issue equity securities in the future for a number of reasons, including to finance our operations and business strategy, to satisfy our obligations upon the exercise of options or warrants or for other reasons. Our Stock Option Plan generally permits us to have outstanding, at any given time, stock options that are exercisable for a maximum number of Common Shares equal to 11.4% of all then issued and outstanding Common Shares. As at March 27, 2018, there were:
16,440,760

 
Common Shares issued and outstanding

 
Preferred Shares issued and outstanding
3,417,840

 
Common Shares issuable upon exercise of outstanding warrants
711,252

 
Stock Options outstanding
1,162,995

 
Additional Common Shares available for future grants under our stock option plan
In addition, the price of our Common Shares could also be affected by possible sales of Common Shares by investors who view other investment vehicles as more attractive means of equity participation in us and by hedging or arbitrage trading activity that may develop involving our Common Shares. This hedging or arbitrage could, in turn, affect the trading price of our Common Shares.
In the event we were to lose our foreign private issuer status as of June 30 of a given financial year, we would be required to comply with the Exchange Act's domestic reporting regime, which could cause us to incur additional legal, accounting and other expenses.
In order to maintain our current status as a foreign private issuer, either (1) a majority of our Common Shares must not be either directly or indirectly owned of record by residents of the U.S. or (2) (a) a majority of our executive officers and of our directors must not be U.S. citizens or residents, (b) more than 50 percent of our assets cannot be located in the U.S. and (c) our business must be administered principally outside the U.S.
In 2017, our management conducted its annual assessment of the various facts and circumstances underlying the determination of our status as a foreign private issuer and, based on the foregoing, our management has determined that, as of the date of such determination and as of June 30, 2017, we continued to be a foreign private issuer.
There can be no assurance, however, that we will remain a foreign private issuer either in 2018 or in future financial years.
If we were to lose our foreign private issuer status as of June 30 of any given financial year, we would be required to comply with the Exchange Act reporting and other requirements applicable to U.S. domestic issuers, which are more detailed and extensive than the requirements for foreign private issuers. We may also be required to make changes in our corporate governance practices in accordance with various SEC rules and NASDAQ listing standards. The regulatory and compliance costs to us of complying with the reporting requirements applicable to a U.S. domestic issuer under U.S. securities laws may be higher than the cost we have historically incurred as a foreign private issuer. In addition, if we were to lose our foreign private issuer status, we would no longer qualify under the Canada-U.S. multijurisdictional disclosure system to benefit from being able to file registration statements on Form F-10 (even if we satisfy the other conditions to eligibility), which could make it longer and more difficult to register our securities and raise funds by way of public, registered offerings in the U.S., and we would become subject to "baby shelf" rules that place limitations on our ability to issue an amount of securities above a certain threshold depending on our market capitalization and public float at a given point in time. As a result, we would expect that a potential loss of foreign private issuer status at some

21



future point in time could increase our legal, financial reporting and accounting compliance costs, and it is difficult at this time to estimate by how much our legal, financial reporting and accounting compliance costs may increase in such eventuality.
Our articles of incorporation contain "blank check" preferred share provisions, which could delay or impede an acquisition of our Company.
Our articles of incorporation, as amended, authorize the issuance of an unlimited number of "blank check" preferred shares, which could be issued by our Board of Directors without shareholder approval and which may contain liquidation, dividend and other rights equivalent or superior to our Common Shares. In addition, we have implemented in our constating documents an advance notice procedure for shareholder approvals to be brought before an annual meeting of our shareholders, including proposed nominations of persons for election to our Board of Directors. These provisions, among others, whether alone or together, could delay or impede hostile takeovers and changes in control or changes in our management. Any provision of our constating documents that has the effect of delaying or deterring a change in control could limit the opportunity for our shareholders to receive a premium for their Common Shares and could also affect the price that some investors are willing to pay for our Common Shares.
Our business could be negatively affected as a result of the actions of activist shareholders.
Proxy contests have been waged against many companies in the biopharmaceutical industry over the last few years. If faced with a proxy contest, we may not be able to successfully respond to the contest, which would be disruptive to our business. Even if we are successful, our business could be adversely affected by a proxy contest because:
responding to proxy contests and other actions by activist shareholders may be costly and time‑consuming, and may disrupt our operations and divert the attention of management and our employees;
perceived uncertainties as to the potential outcome of any proxy contest may result in our inability to consummate potential acquisitions, collaborations or in‑licensing opportunities and may make it more difficult to attract and retain qualified personnel and business partners; and
if individuals that have a specific agenda different from that of our management or other members of our Board of Directors are elected to our board as a result of any proxy contest, such an election may adversely affect our ability to effectively and timely implement our strategic plan and to create value for our shareholders.
Item 4.
Information on the Company
A.
History and development of the Company
We are a specialty biopharmaceutical company engaged in developing and commercializing pharmaceutical therapies, currently focused on the development and commercialization of Macrilen™ (macimorelin), including through out-licensing arrangements and pursuing in-licensing opportunities.
We were incorporated on September 12, 1990 under the Canada Business Corporations Act (the "CBCA") and continue to be governed by the CBCA. Our registered address is located at 1155 René-Lévesque Blvd, West 41st Floor, Montréal, Quebec, Canada H3B 3V2 c/o Stikeman Elliott, LLP. Our executive offices are located at 315 Sigma Drive, Summerville, South Carolina 29486; our telephone number is (843) 900-3223 and our website is www.aezsinc.com. None of the documents or information found on our website shall be deemed to be included in or incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 20-F, unless such document is specifically incorporated herein by reference.
On December 30, 2002, we acquired Zentaris AG, a biopharmaceutical company based in Frankfurt, Germany. Zentaris was a spin-off of Asta Medica GmbH, a former pharmaceutical company affiliated with Degussa AG.
In May 2004, we changed our name to Aeterna Zentaris Inc. and on May 11, 2007, Zentaris GmbH was renamed Aeterna Zentaris GmbH ("AEZS Germany"). AEZS Germany conducts our drug development efforts. In September 2007, we incorporated Aeterna Zentaris, Inc. under the laws of Delaware. This wholly-owned subsidiary, which is based in the Charleston, South Carolina area, conducts certain of our administrative and commercial operations.
On November 17, 2015, we effected a 100-to-1 Share Consolidation (reverse stock split). Our Common Shares commenced trading on a consolidated and adjusted basis on both NASDAQ and TSX on November 20, 2015.

22



We currently have three wholly-owned direct and indirect subsidiaries, AEZS Germany, based in Frankfurt, Germany; Zentaris IVF GmbH, a direct wholly-owned subsidiary of AEZS Germany based in Frankfurt, Germany; and Aeterna Zentaris, Inc., an entity incorporated in the State of Delaware with an office in the Charleston, South Carolina area in the United States.
corporatestructure.jpg
Our Common Shares are listed for trading on both NASDAQ and TSX under the trading symbol "AEZS".
Our agent for service of process and SEC matters in the United States is our wholly-owned subsidiary, Aeterna Zentaris, Inc., located at 315 Sigma Drive, Summerville, South Carolina 29486.
There have been no public takeover offers by third parties with respect to us or by us in respect of other companies' shares during the last or current financial year.
Recent Developments
For a complete description of our recent corporate and pipeline developments, refer to "Item 5. - Operating and Financial Review and Prospects - Key Developments".

B.
Business overview
On December 20, 2017, the FDA granted marketing approval for Macrilen™ (macimorelin) to be used in the diagnosis of patients with adult growth hormone deficiency ("AGHD").
Macrilen™ (macimorelin), a ghrelin receptor agonist, is a novel orally-active small molecule that stimulates the secretion of growth hormone. Macrilen™ (macimorelin) has been granted orphan drug designation by the FDA for the evaluation of growth hormone deficiency. We own the worldwide rights to this novel patented compound. Macrilen™ (macimorelin) is our proposed trade name for macimorelin. The proposed trade name was conditionally approved by the FDA. On December 16, 2016, we were advised by the EMA that Macrilen™ was rejected as the proposed invented name for macimorelin because of its similarity to the names of other medicines. On March 8, 2018, we applied for two new invented names for macimorelin: Macrilen ST and Macrilen GHST; however, we are also evaluating alternative names given recent feedback received from the EMA.
On January 16, 2018, through AEZS Germany, we entered into the Strongbridge License Agreement. We received an upfront cash payment of $24,000,000 from Strongbridge, and, for as long as Macrilen™ (macimorelin) is patent-protected, the Company will be entitled to a 15% royalty on net sales up to $75,000,000 and an 18% royalty on net sales above $75,000,000. Following the end of patent protection in United States or Canada for Macrilen™ (macimorelin), the Company will be entitled to a 5% royalty

23



on net sales in that country. In addition, the Company will also receive one-time payments from Strongbridge following the first achievement of the following commercial milestone events:
$4,000,000 on achieving $25,000,000 annual net sales,
$10,000,000 on achieving $50,000,000 annual net sales,
$20,000,000 on achieving $100,000,000 annual net sales,
$40,000,000 on achieving $200,000,000 annual net sales, and
$100,000,000 on achieving $500,000,000 annual net sales.
Upon approval by the FDA of a pediatric indication for Macrilen™ (macimorelin), the Company will receive a one-time milestone payment of $5,000,000 from Strongbridge.
Strongbridge will fund 70% of the costs of a worldwide pediatric development program to be run by the Company with customary oversight from a joint steering committee. The joint steering committee will be comprised of four persons, two of whom will be appointed by each of Strongbridge and the Company.
In 2017, we completed a Phase 3 study of the internally developed compound Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin), in the indication for advanced, recurrent endometrial cancer, the results of which study are not supportive to pursue regulatory approval by the FDA. In light of the results of the Zoptrex™ study, our focus has shifted entirely to the commercialization, either directly or through third parties, of Macrilen™ (macimorelin).
The commercial success of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) will depend on several factors, including, but not limited to, the receipt of approvals from the EMA and similar foreign regulatory authorities; developing appropriate distribution and marketing infrastructure and arrangements for our product; launching and growing commercial sales of the product; and acceptance of the product in the medical community, among patients and with third party payers. We are not currently conducting any clinical studies.
We continue to explore various alternatives to monetize our rights to macimorelin in other countries around the globe.
We also continue to seek opportunities to in-license and acquire products. Our goal is to become a growth-oriented specialty biopharmaceutical company by pursuing successful development, commercialization and licensing of a 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.
Our Business Strategy
Our primary business strategy is to finalize the development, manufacturing, registration and commercialization of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) through the Strongbridge License Agreement in the United States and Canada. We continue to explore various alternatives to monetize our rights to Macrilen™ (macimorelin) in other countries around the globe, including whether to find other license partners in these jurisdictions or to use our internal resources to commercialize Macrilen™ (macimorelin) in one or more of these countries. Our vision is to become a growth-oriented specialty biopharmaceutical company.
Macrilen™ (macimorelin)
Macrilen™ (macimorelin) is a novel orally available peptidomimetic ghrelin receptor agonist that stimulates the secretion of growth hormone by binding to the ghrelin receptor (GHSR-1a) and that has potential uses in both endocrinology and oncology indications. Macrilen™ (macimorelin) was granted orphan-drug designation by the FDA for use in evaluating growth hormone deficiency ("GHD").
Competitors for Macrilen™ (macimorelin) as a product for the evaluation of AGHD are principally the diagnostic tests currently performed by endocrinologists, although none of these tests are approved by the FDA for this purpose. The most commonly used diagnostic tests for GHD are:
Measurement of blood levels of Insulin Growth Factor ("IGF")-1, which is typically used as the first test when GHD is suspected. However, this test is not used to definitively diagnose GHD because many growth hormone deficient patients show normal IGF-1 levels.
The Insulin Tolerance Test ("ITT"), which has historically been considered the gold standard for the evaluation of AGHD because of its high sensitivity and specificity. However, the ITT is inconvenient to both patients and physicians, administered

24



intravenously (IV), and contra-indicated in certain patients, such as patients with coronary heart disease or seizure disorder, because it requires the patient to experience hypoglycemia to obtain a result. Some physicians will not induce full hypoglycemia, intentionally compromising accuracy to increase safety and comfort for the patient. Furthermore, administration of the ITT includes additional costs associated with the patient being closely monitored by a physician for the two- to four-hour duration of the test and the test must be administered in a setting where emergency equipment is available and where the patient may be quickly hospitalized. The ITT is not used for patients with co-morbidities, such as cardiovascular disease, seizure disorder or a history of brain cancer or for patients who are elderly and frail, due to safety concerns.
The Glucagon Stimulation Test ("GST") is considered relatively safe by endocrinologists. The mechanism of action for this test is unclear. Also, this test takes up to three to four hours. It produces side effects in up to one-third of the patients with the most common being nausea during and after the test. This test is administered intramuscularly (IM).
The GHRH + ARG test (growth hormone releasing hormone-arginine stimulation) which is an easier test to perform in an office setting and has a good safety profile but is considered to be costly to administer compared to the ITT and the GST. GHRH + ARG is approved in the EU and has been proposed to be the best alternative to ITT, but GHRH is no longer available in the United States. This test is administered intravenously (IV).
Oral administration of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) offers convenience and simplicity over the current GHD tests used, all of which require either intravenous or intramuscular administration. Additionally, Macrilen™ (macimorelin) may demonstrate a more favorable safety profile than existing diagnostic tests, some of which may be inappropriate for certain patient populations, e.g. diabetes mellitus or coronary heart disease, and have demonstrated a variety of side effects, which Macrilen™ (macimorelin) has not thus far. These factors may be limiting the use of GHD testing and may potentially enable Macrilen™ (macimorelin) to become the product of choice in evaluating AGHD. We believe that Macrilen™ (macimorelin) is likely to rapidly displace the ITT as the preferred means of evaluating AGHD for the following reasons:
it is safer and more convenient than the ITT because it does not require the patient to become hypoglycemic;
Macrilen™ (macimorelin) is administered orally, while the ITT requires an intravenous injection of insulin;
Macrilen™ (macimorelin) is a more robust test than the ITT leading to evaluable test results;
Macrilen™ (macimorelin) results are highly reproducible;
the evaluation of AGHD using Macrilen™ (macimorelin) is less time-consuming and labor-intensive than the ITT; and
the evaluation can be conducted in the physician's office rather than in a hospital-like setting.
We believe that approximately 60,000 AGHD tests will be conducted annually, in the U.S, after the introduction of Macrilen™ (macimorelin). In addition, based on published information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, different scientific publications and Navigant Research, we estimate that the total potential U.S. market for AGHD evaluation is approximately 150,000 tests per year, including the evaluation of patients who have suffered traumatic brain injury ("TBI"). In patients with TBI, GHD is frequent and may contribute to cognitive sequelae and reduction in quality of life. GHD may develop in approximately 19% of both severe and moderate hospitalized TBI victims.
Development History
The following is a summary of the history of our development of Macrilen™ (macimorelin):
We out-licensed the development compound macimorelin acetate to Ardana Bioscience in 2004. Ardana Bioscience subsequently initiated the clinical development program of macimorelin acetate as an orally active compound intended to be used in the diagnosis of AGHD. Following agreement with the FDA on the study design, Ardana Bioscience initiated a pivotal Phase 3 study in 2007, which tested the compound compared to a test of growth hormone- releasing hormone ("GHRH") + L-Arginine ("ARG"), using a competitor's compound. The study was discontinued in 2008 due to Ardana Bioscience's bankruptcy. We terminated Ardana Bioscience's license to the compound due to its bankruptcy.
On October 19, 2009, we announced that we had initiated activities intended to complete the clinical development of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) for use in evaluating AGHD. We had already assumed the sponsorship of the Investigational New Drug Application ("IND") from Ardana Bioscience and discussed with the FDA the best way to complete the ongoing Phase 3 clinical trial and subsequently to file an NDA for approval of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) for use in evaluating AGHD. The pivotal Phase 3 trial was designed to investigate the safety and efficacy of the oral administration of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) as a growth hormone stimulator for use in evaluating AGHD. It was accepted by the FDA that for the ongoing part of the

25



study, Macrilen™ (macimorelin) would not be compared to the GHRH + ARG test because the competitor's compound had been removed from the market.
On December 20, 2010, we announced we had reached agreement with the FDA on a Special Protocol Assessment ("SPA") for Macrilen™ (macimorelin), enabling us to complete the ongoing registration study required to gain approval for use in evaluating AGHD. The first part of the study, conducted by our former licensee, Ardana, was a two-way cross-over study and included 43 patients with confirmed AGHD or multiple pituitary hormone deficiencies and a low IGF-1. A control group of ten subjects without AGHD was matched to patients for age, gender, body mass index and (for females) estrogen status.
On July 26, 2011, we announced the completion of the Phase 3 study of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) as a first oral product for use in evaluating AGHD and the decision to meet with the FDA for the future filing of an NDA for the registration of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) in the United States.
On June 26, 2012, we announced that the final results from a Phase 3 trial for Macrilen™ (macimorelin) showed that the drug is safe and effective in evaluating AGHD. Jose M. Garcia, MD, PhD, then of the Baylor College of Medicine and the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, disclosed these data during an oral presentation at the 94th ENDO Annual Meeting and Expo in Houston, Texas. The study had originally been designed as a cross-over trial of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) compared to the GHRH + ARG test in AGHD patients and in controls matched for body mass index ("BMI"), estrogen status, gender and age. After 43 AGHD patients and ten controls had been tested, the GHRH + ARG test became unavailable because the competitor's compound was withdrawn from the market. The study was completed by testing ten more AGHD patients and 38 controls with Macrilen™ (macimorelin) alone. Of the 53 AGHD subjects enrolled, 52 received Macrilen™ (macimorelin), and 50 who had confirmed AGHD prior to study entry were included in this analysis, along with 48 controls. Two AGHD subjects could not be matched due to the combination of young age, high BMI and estrogen use. The objective of this clinical trial was to determine the efficacy and safety of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) in the evaluation of AGHD. Mean peak growth hormone ("GH") levels in AGHD patients and controls following Macrilen™ (macimorelin) administration were 2.36ng/mL (range 0.03-33) and 17.71ng/mL (range 10.5-94), respectively. The ROC plot analysis yielded an optimal GH cut-point of 2.7ng/mL, with 82% sensitivity, 92% specificity and a 13% misclassification rate. Obesity (BMI>30) was present in 58% of cases and controls, and peak GH levels were inversely associated with BMI in controls. Adverse events ("AE") were seen in 37% of AGHD patients and in 21% of controls following Macrilen™ (macimorelin). In contrast, 61% of AGHD subjects and 30% of controls experienced AEs with L ARG+GHRH. The most common AEs after Macrilen™ (macimorelin) were unpleasant taste (19.2%) and diarrhea (3.8%) for the AGHD patients and unpleasant taste (4.2%) and diarrhea (4.2%) for the matched controls. No clinically meaningful changes from baseline in ECG results during the study for AGHD patients were observed; however, one control subject had an ECG change (T wave abnormality and QTc interval prolongation) one hour after treatment with Macrilen™ (macimorelin) that was considered a serious treatment-related adverse event and resolved spontaneously within 24 hours. The subject had been pre-treated with citalopram, a drug that was later reported by the FDA to be associated with QT prolongation, although the patient had stopped this medication seven days prior to dosing. In an expert statement of January 9, 2015, Prof. Dr. W. Haverkamp, Centrum Herz-, Kreislauf- und Gefäßmedizin, Charité, Berlin, considered the observed QT prolongation to be not related to Macrilen™ (macimorelin). Overall, this study demonstrated that Macrilen™ (macimorelin) is safe and effective for use in evaluating AGHD.
In November 2013, we filed an NDA for Macrilen™ (macimorelin) for the evaluation of AGHD by evaluating the pituitary gland secretion of growth hormone in response to an oral dose of the product. The FDA accepted the NDA for substantive review in January 2014. On November 6, 2014, the FDA informed us, by issuing a Complete Response Letter ("CRL"), that it had determined that our NDA could not be approved in its then present form. The CRL stated that the planned analysis of our pivotal trial did not meet its stated primary efficacy objective as agreed to in the SPA. The CRL further mentioned issues related to the lack of complete and verifiable source data for determining whether patients were accurately diagnosed with AGHD. The FDA concluded that, "in light of the failed primary analysis and data deficiencies noted, the clinical trial does not by itself support the indication." To address the deficiencies identified above, the CRL stated that we needed to demonstrate the efficacy of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) as a diagnostic test for GHD in a new, confirmatory clinical study. The CRL also stated that a serious event of electrocardiogram QT interval prolongation occurred for which attribution to drug could not be excluded. Therefore, a dedicated thorough QT study to evaluate the effect of macimorelin on the QT interval would be necessary.
Following receipt of the CRL, we assembled a panel of experts in the field of growth-hormone deficiency, including experts in the field from both the United States and the EU. The panel met on January 8, 2015, during which we discussed our conclusions from the CRL, as well as the potential design of a new pivotal study. The panel advised us to continue to seek approval for Macrilen™ (macimorelin) because of their confidence in its efficacy and because there currently is no FDA-approved diagnostic test for AGHD. In parallel, we collected information on timelines and costs for such a study.

26



During an end-of-review meeting with the FDA on March 6, 2015, we agreed with the FDA on the general design of the confirmatory Phase 3 study of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) for the evaluation of AGHD, as well as evaluation criteria. We agreed with the FDA that the confirmatory study will be conducted as a two-way crossover with the ITT as the benchmark comparator.
On April 13, 2015, we announced plans to conduct a new, confirmatory Phase 3 clinical study to demonstrate the efficacy of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) for the evaluation of AGHD, as well as a dedicated thorough QT study to evaluate the effect of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) on myocardial repolarization. The confirmatory Phase 3 clinical study of Macrilen™ (macimorelin), entitled "Confirmatory validation of oral macimorelin as a growth hormone (GH) stimulation test (ST) for the diagnosis of AGHD in comparison with the insulin tolerance test (ITT)", was designed as a two-way crossover study with the ITT as the benchmark comparator and involved 31 sites in the United States and Europe. The study population was planned to include at least 110 subjects (at least 55 ITT-positive and 55 ITT-negative) with a medical history documenting risk factors for AGHD, and was planned to include a spectrum of subjects from those with a low risk of having AGHD to those with a high risk of having the condition.
On May 26, 2015, we announced that we had received written scientific advice from the EMA regarding the further development plan, including the study design, for the new confirmatory Phase 3 clinical study of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) for use in evaluating AGHD. As a result of the advice, we believe that the confirmatory Phase 3 study that was agreed with the FDA meets the EMA's study-design expectations as well, allowing for U.S. and European approval, if the study is successful.
On November 19, 2015, we announced the enrollment of the first patient in the confirmatory Phase 3 clinical study of Macrilen™ (macimorelin).
On October 26, 2016, we announced completion of patient recruitment for the confirmatory Phase 3 clinical trial of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) as a growth hormone stimulation test for the evaluation of AGHD.
The dedicated thorough QT study to evaluate the effect of macimorelin on the QT interval, as requested by the FDA in the CRL, was conducted and completed in 2016.
On January 4, 2017, we announced that, based on an analysis of top-line data, the confirmatory Phase 3 clinical trial of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) failed to achieve one of its co-primary endpoints. Under the study protocol, the evaluation of AGHD with Macrilen™ (macimorelin) would be considered successful, if the lower bound of the two-sided 95% confidence interval for the primary efficacy variables was 75% or higher for "percent negative agreement" with the ITT, and 70% or higher for the "percent positive agreement" with the ITT. While the estimated percent negative agreement met the success criteria, the estimated percent positive agreement did not reach the criteria for a successful outcome. Therefore, the results did not meet the pre-defined equivalence criteria which required success for both the percent negative agreement and the percent positive agreement.
On February 13, 2017, we announced that, after reviewing the raw data on which the top-line data were based, we had concluded that Macrilen™ (macimorelin) had demonstrated performance supportive of achieving FDA registration and that we intended to pursue registration. The announcement set forth the facts on which our conclusion was based. The Company met with the FDA at the end of March 2017 to discuss this position.
On March 7, 2017, we announced that the Pediatric Committee ("PDCO") EMA agreed to the Company's Pediatric Investigation Plan ("PIP") for Macrilen™ (macimorelin) and agreed that the Company may defer conducting the PIP until after it files a Marketing Authorization Application ("MAA") seeking marketing authorization for the use of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) for the evaluation of AGHD.
On July 18, 2017, we were provided a PDUFA date of December 30, 2017 by the FDA.
On November 27, 2017, the EMA accepted our MMA submission for Macrilen™ (macimorelin).
On December 20, 2017, the FDA approved the market authorization for Macrilen™ (macimorelin), to be used in the diagnosis of patients with adult growth hormone deficiency (AGHD).
On March 23, 2018, we received from the EMA a Day 120 List of Questions, which was issued in connection with our MMA submission for Macrilen™ (macimorelin). We are in the process of reviewing.
Zoptrex™
ZoptrexTM is a complex molecule that combines a synthetic peptide carrier with doxorubicin, a well-known chemotherapy agent. The synthetic peptide carrier is a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone ("LHRH") agonist, a modified natural hormone with

27



affinity for the LHRH receptor. The design of the compound allows for the specific binding and selective uptake of the cytotoxic conjugate by LHRH receptor-positive tumors.
On January 30, 2017, we announced the completion of the clinical phase of the pivotal Phase 3 ZoptEC (Zoptarelin Doxorubicin in Endometrial Cancer) study with the occurrence of the 384th death.
On May 1, 2017, we announced that the ZoptEC pivotal Phase 3 clinical study of Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) in women with locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic endometrial cancer did not achieve its primary endpoint of demonstrating a statistically significant increase in the median period of overall survival of patients treated with Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) as compared to patients treated with doxorubicin. The results of the study are not supportive to pursue regulatory approval by the FDA. Based on this outcome, we do not anticipate conducting clinical trials of Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) with respect to any other indications. We also discontinued the development of AEZS-138/Disorazol Z, as it was based on the same concept as Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin).
We have licensed the development, commercialization and certain other rights to Zoptrex™ to Sinopharm A-Think for China, Hong Kong and Macau; to an affiliate of Orient EuroPharma Co., Ltd. for Taiwan and southeast Asia; to Rafa Laboratories, Ltd for Israel and the Palestinian territories and to Specialised Therapeutics Asia Pte Ltd for Australia and New Zealand.
Overview of our Commercial Operations
Our commercial operations were significantly reduced in the fourth quarter of 2017. We eliminated our contract sales team in its entirety, as well as remaining sales management in November 2017, in accordance with the terms of our agreement with inVentiv Commercial Services, LLC, an affiliate of inVentiv Health, Inc. ("inVentiv"), a contract-sales organization. Our agreement with inVentiv commenced in November 2014.
Pursuant to termination of the inVentiv agreement, we ended our co-promotion with EMD Serono, Inc. ("EMD Serono") and Armune BioScience, Inc. ("Armune").
Until September 1, 2016, we co-promoted a product, EstroGel®, and until termination of our sales team in November 2017, the inVentiv sales force promoted two products:
Saizen® [somatropin (rDNA origin) for injection] is a prescription medicine indicated for the treatment of growth hormone deficiency in children and adults. We promoted Saizen® pursuant to our promotional services agreement (the “EMD Serono Agreement”) with EMD Serono Inc. (“EMD Serono”), which we entered into in May 2015 and amended as of December 31, 2016. The EMD Serono Agreement, as amended, provided that we were to promote Saizen® in specific agreed-upon U.S. territories to adult and pediatric endocrinologists in exchange for a sales commission that was based upon new patient starts of the product. The agreement was terminated in accordance with its terms in December 2017.
APIFINY® is the only cancer-specific, non-PSA blood test for the evaluation of the risk of prostate cancer. The test was developed by Armune BioScience, Inc. (“Armune”), 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. We entered into a co-marketing agreement with Armune in November 2015 (the “Armune Agreement”), which was amended effective as of June 1, 2016, which allowed us to exclusively promote APIFINY® throughout the entire United States. We received a commission for each test performed resulting from our targeted promotion without regard to any established baseline. The Armune Agreement, as amended, had a three-year term that renewed automatically for successive one-year periods. The parties agreed in January 2018 that the Armune Agreement was terminated.
On December 20, 2017, we received FDA approval for Macrilen™ (macimorelin) indicated for the diagnosis of AGHD. Following a detailed review process undertaken by a committee of our independent directors, we entered into the Strongbridge License Agreement to carry out development, manufacturing, registration and commercialization of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) in the United States and Canada. We continue to explore various alternatives to monetizing rights to macimorelin in other countries around the globe, including whether to find other license partners in these jurisdictions or to use its internal resources to commercialize in certain of these countries.
Under the Strongbridge License Agreement, we received an upfront cash payment of $24,000,000, and, for as long as Macrilen™ (macimorelin) is patent-protected, we will be entitled to a 15% royalty on net sales up to $75,000,000 and an 18% royalty on net sales above $75,000,000. Following the end of patent protection in United States or Canada for Macrilen™ (macimorelin), we will be entitled to a 5% royalty on net sales in these countries. In addition, we also will receive one-time payments from Strongbridge following the first achievement of the following commercial milestone events:
$4,000,000 on achieving $25,000,000 annual net sales

28



$10,000,000 on achieving $50,000,000 annual net sales
$20,000,000 on achieving $100,000,000 annual net sales
$40,000,000 on achieving $200,000,000 annual net sales
$100,000,000 on achieving $500,000,000 annual net sales
Upon approval by the FDA of a pediatric indication for Macrilen™ (macimorelin), we will receive a one-time milestone payment of $5,000,000 from Strongbridge.
Strongbridge will fund 70% of the costs of a worldwide pediatric development program to be run by the Company with customary oversight from a joint steering committee. The joint steering committee will be comprised of four persons, two of whom will be appointed by each of Strongbridge and the Company.
A description of the principal geographic areas in which we compete, including a geographical and categorical breakdown of our revenues in the past three years is presented in note 23 (Segment information) to our consolidated financial statements included in this Annual Report on Form 20-F at Item 18.
Seasonality
As a specialty biopharmaceutical company, the Company does not consider any of its products or services to be seasonal.
Raw Materials
Raw materials and supplies are generally available in quantities adequate to meet the needs of our business. We will be dependent on third-party manufacturers for the pharmaceutical products that we will market. An interruption in the availability of certain raw materials or ingredients, or significant increases in the prices paid by us for them, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, liquidity and operating results.
Regulation of Drug Development
Generally. Governmental authorities in the United States, Canada, Europe and other countries extensively regulate the preclinical and clinical testing, manufacturing, labeling, storage, record keeping, advertising, promotion, export, marketing and distribution, among other things, of pharmaceuticals. Under the laws of the United States, the countries of the EU, and other countries, we are subject to obligations to ensure that our clinical trials are conducted in accordance with Good Clinical Practices ("GCP") guidelines and the investigational plan and protocols contained in an Investigational New Drug ("IND") application, or comparable foreign regulatory submission. Set forth below is a brief summary of the material governmental regulations affecting us in the major markets in which we intend to market our products and/or promote products that we acquire or in-license or to which we obtain promotional rights.
The United States. In the United States, the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938, as amended (the "FDCA"), the Public Health Service Act and other federal statutes and regulations, subjects pharmaceutical products to rigorous review. In order to market and sell a new drug product in the United States, we must first test it and send CDER evidence from these tests to prove that the drug is safe and effective for its intended use. In most cases, these tests include extensive preclinical, clinical, and laboratory tests. A team of CDER physicians, statisticians, chemists, pharmacologists, and other scientists reviews the company's data and proposed labeling. If this independent and unbiased review establishes that a drug's health benefits outweigh its known risks, the drug is approved for sale. CDER does not test the drug itself but it does conduct limited research in the areas of drug quality, safety, and effectiveness standards. Before approving a new drug or marketing application, the FDA may conduct pre-approval inspections of the developer of the drug (the "sponsor"), its CROs and/or its clinical trial sites to ensure that clinical, safety, quality control, and other regulated activities are compliant with GCP, or Good Laboratory Practices ("GLP"), for specific non-clinical toxicology studies. Manufacturing facilities used to produce a product are also subject to ongoing inspection by the FDA. The FDA may also require confirmatory trials, post-marketing testing, and/or extra surveillance to monitor the effects of approved products, or place conditions on any approvals that could restrict the commercial applications of a product. Once approved, the labeling, advertising, promotion, marketing, and distribution of a drug or biologic product must be in compliance with FDA regulatory requirements.
The first stage required for ultimate FDA approval of a new biologic or drug involves completion of preclinical studies whereby a sponsor must test new drugs on animals for toxicity. Multiple species are used to gather basic information on the safety and efficacy of the compound being investigated and/or researched. The FDA regulates preclinical studies under a series of regulations called the current GLP regulations as well as regulatory requirements found in Part 21 subchapter D of the Code of Federal Regulations. If the sponsor violates these regulations, the FDA may require that the sponsor replicate those studies or can subject

29



the sponsor to enforcement actions or penalties as described further below. The sponsor then submits to the FDA an IND application based on the results from initial testing that include the drug's composition and manufacturing, along with a plan for testing the drug on humans. The FDA reviews the IND to ensure that the proposed studies (clinical trials) do not place human subjects at unreasonable risk of harm. FDA also verifies that there are adequate informed consent and human subject protections in place.
After a sponsor submits an IND application, it must wait 30 days before starting a clinical trial to allow FDA time to review the prospective study. If FDA finds a problem, it can order a clinical hold to delay an investigation, or interrupt a clinical trial if problems occur during the study. After the IND application is in effect, a sponsor may commence human clinical trials. The sponsor typically conducts human clinical trials in three sequential phases, but the phases may overlap. In Phase 1 trials, the sponsor tests the product in a small number of patients or healthy volunteers (typically 20-80 healthy volunteers), primarily for safety at one or more doses. The goal in this phase is to determine what the drug's most frequent side effects are and, often, how the drug is metabolized and excreted. Phase 2 studies begin if Phase 1 studies do not reveal unacceptable toxicity. In Phase 2, in addition to safety, the sponsor evaluates the efficacy of the product in a patient population somewhat larger than Phase 1 trials. The number of subjects in Phase 2 studies typically ranges from a few dozen to about 300. This phase aims to obtain preliminary data on whether a drug works in people who have a certain disease or condition. At the end of Phase 2, the FDA and sponsor try to come to an agreement on how large-scale studies in Phase 3 should be done.
Phase 3 studies begin if evidence of effectiveness is shown in Phase 2. Phase 3 trials typically involve additional testing for safety and clinical efficacy in an expanded population at geographically dispersed test sites. The sponsor must submit to the FDA a clinical plan, or "protocol", accompanied by the approval of the institutions participating in the trials, prior to commencement of each clinical trial. The FDA may order the temporary or permanent discontinuation of a clinical trial at any time. In the case of product candidates for cancer, the initial human testing may be done in patients with the disease rather than in healthy volunteers. Because these patients are already afflicted with the target disease, such studies may provide results traditionally obtained in Phase 2 studies. Accordingly, these studies are often referred to as "Phase 1/2" studies as they combine two phases. Even if patients participate in initial human testing and a Phase 1/2 study is carried out, the sponsor is still responsible for obtaining all the data usually obtained in both Phase 1 and Phase 2 studies.
The sponsor must submit to the FDA the results of the preclinical and clinical testing, together with, among other things, detailed information on the manufacture and composition of the product, in the form of a New Drug Application ("NDA") or, in the case of a biologic, a Biologics License Applications ("BLA"). In a process that can take a year or more, the FDA reviews this application and, when and if it decides that adequate data are available to show that the new compound is both safe and effective for a particular indication and that other applicable requirements have been met, approves the drug or biologic for marketing. The amount of time taken for this approval process is a function of a number of variables, including the quality of the submission and studies presented and the potential contribution that the compound will make in improving the treatment of the disease in question.
Orphan-drug designation is granted by the FDA Office of Orphan Drug Products to novel drugs or biologics that are intended for the safe and effective treatment, diagnosis or prevention of rare diseases or disorders that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S., or that affect more than 200,000 people but are not expected to recover the costs of developing and marketing a treatment drug. The designation provides the sponsor with a seven-year period of U.S. marketing exclusivity if the drug is the first of its type approved for the specified indication or if it demonstrates superior safety, efficacy or a major contribution to patient care versus another drug of its type previously granted the designation for the same indication. We have been granted orphan drug designations for Macrilen™ (macimorelin) for the evaluation of growth hormone deficiency.
Under the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984 (the "Hatch-Waxman Act"), newly-approved drugs and indications may benefit from a statutory period of non-patent data exclusivity. The Hatch-Waxman Act provides five-year data exclusivity to the first applicant to gain approval of an NDA for a new chemical entity, or NCE, meaning that the FDA has not previously approved any other drug containing the same active pharmaceutical ingredient, or active moiety. Although protection under the Hatch-Waxman Act will not prevent the submission or approval of another full NDA, such an NDA applicant would be required to conduct its own preclinical and adequate, well-controlled clinical trials to demonstrate safety and effectiveness.
The Hatch-Waxman Act also provides three years of data exclusivity for the approval of new and supplemental NDAs, including Section 505(b)(2) applications, for, among other things, new indications, dosage forms, routes of administration, or strengths of an existing drug, or for a new use, if new clinical investigations that were conducted or sponsored by the sponsor are determined by the FDA to be essential to the approval of the application. This exclusivity, which is sometimes referred to as clinical investigation exclusivity, would not prevent the approval of another application if the sponsor has conducted its own adequate, well-controlled clinical trials demonstrating safety and efficacy, nor would it prevent approval of a generic product that did not incorporate the exclusivity-protected changes of the approved drug product.

30



The labeling, advertising, promotion, marketing, and distribution of a drug or biologic product must be in compliance with FDA regulatory requirements. Failure to comply with applicable requirements can lead to the FDA demanding that production and shipment cease and, in some cases, that the manufacturer recall products, or to enforcement actions that can include seizures, injunctions, and criminal prosecution. These failures can also lead to FDA withdrawal of approval to market a product.
Canada. In Canada, the Therapeutic Products Directorate of Health Canada is the Canadian federal authority that regulates pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices for human use. Prior to being given market authorization, a sponsor must present substantive scientific evidence of a product's safety, efficacy and quality as required by the Food and Drugs Act and other legislation and regulations. The requirements for the development and sale of pharmaceutical drugs in Canada are substantially similar to those in the United States, which are described above.
The European Union. Medicines can be authorized in the EU by using either the centralized authorization procedure or national authorization procedures. The EU has implemented a centralized procedure coordinated by the EMA for the approval of human medicines, which results in a single marketing authorization issued by the European Commission that is valid across the EU, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The centralized procedure is compulsory for human medicines that are derived from biotechnology processes, such as genetic engineering, that contain a new active substance indicated for the treatment of certain diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders or autoimmune diseases and other immune dysfunctions, and designated orphan medicines. For medicines that do not fall within these categories, an applicant has the option of submitting an application for a centralized marketing authorization to the EMA, as long as the medicine concerned is a significant therapeutic, scientific or technical innovation, or if its authorization would be in the interest of public health.
There are also two other possible routes to authorize medicinal products in several EU countries, which are available for investigational drug products that fall outside the scope of the centralized procedure:
Decentralized procedure. Using the decentralized procedure, a sponsor may apply for simultaneous authorization in more than one EU country of medicinal products that have not yet been authorized in any EU country and that do not fall within the mandatory scope of the centralized procedure. The application will be reviewed by a selected Reference Member State ("RMS"). The Marketing Authorization granted by the RMS will then be recognized by the other Member States involved in this procedure.
Mutual recognition procedure. In the mutual recognition procedure, a medicine is first authorized in one EU Member State, in accordance with the national procedures of that country. Following this, further marketing authorizations can be sought from other EU countries in a procedure whereby the countries concerned agree to recognize the validity of the original, national marketing authorization.
Regulation of Commercial Operations
The marketing, promotional, and pricing practices of human pharmaceutical manufacturers, as well as the manner in which manufacturers interact with purchasers and prescribers, are subject to various U.S. federal and state laws, including the federal anti-kickback statute and the False Claims Act and state laws governing kickbacks, false claims, unfair trade practices, and consumer protection, and to similar laws in other countries. In the U.S., these laws are administered by, among others, the Department of Justice ("DOJ"), the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Trade Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, and state attorneys general. Over the past several years, the FDA, the DOJ, and many other agencies have increased their enforcement activities with respect to pharmaceutical companies and increased the inter-agency coordination of enforcement activities.
In the U. S., biopharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers are required to record any transfers of value made to licensed physicians and teaching hospitals and to disclose such data to the Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS"). In addition to civil penalties for failure to report transfers of value to physicians or teaching hospitals, there will be criminal penalties if a manufacturer intentionally makes false statements or excludes information in such reports. The payment data across biopharmaceutical and medical device companies is posted by HHS on a publicly available website. Increased access to such data by fraud and abuse investigators, industry critics and media will draw attention to our collaborations with reported entities and will importantly provide opportunities to underscore the critical nature of our collaborations for developing new medicines and exchanging scientific information. This national payment transparency effort coupled with industry commitment to uphold voluntary codes of conduct (such as the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and PhRMA Guiding Principles Direct to Consumer Advertisements About Prescription Medicines) and rigorous internal training and compliance efforts will complement existing laws and regulations to help ensure ethical collaboration and truthful product communications.
The Canadian association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies ("Rx & D") has adopted "Guidelines for Transparency in Stakeholder Funding" that require member companies to regularly disclose, by means of the web sites and annual reports, a list of all stakeholders to which they provide direct funding. The term "stakeholder" is defined in Rx & D's Code of Ethical Practices to include "Health Care Professionals". In the EU, the disclosure code of transfers of value to healthcare professionals

31



and organizations adopted by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations ("EFPIA") requires all members of EFPIA to disclose transfers of value to healthcare professionals and healthcare organizations beginning in 2016, covering the relevant transfers in 2015. Each member company will be required to document and disclose: (i) the names of healthcare professionals and associations that have received payments or other transfers of value and (ii) the amounts or value transferred, and the type of relationship.
For more information about the regulatory risks associated with our business operations, see "Item 3D. Risk Factors".
Intellectual Property - Patents
We seek to protect our compounds, manufacturing processes, compositions and methods of medical use for our lead drugs and drug candidates through a combination of patents, trade secrets and know-how. Our patent portfolio consists of approximately 12 owned and in-licensed patent families (issued, granted or pending in the United States, Europe and other jurisdictions). The patent positions of companies in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are highly uncertain and involve complex legal and factual questions. Therefore, we cannot predict the breadth of claims, if any, that may be allowed under any of our patent applications, or the enforceability of any of our allowed patents. See "Item 3.D. Risk Factors - We may not obtain adequate protection for our products through our intellectual property."
Patents extend for varying periods according to the date of patent filing or grant and the legal term of patents in the various countries where patent protection is obtained. The actual protection afforded by a patent, which can vary from country to country, depends on the type of patent, the scope of its coverage and the availability of legal remedies in the country. In the United States, the patent term of a patent that covers an FDA-approved drug may also be eligible for patent term extension, which permits patent term restoration as compensation for the patent term lost during the FDA regulatory review process. The Hatch-Waxman Act permits a patent term extension of up to five years beyond the expiration of the patent, in which the patentee may file an application for yearly interim extensions within five years if the patent will expire and the FDA has not yet approved the NDA. The length of the patent term extension is related to the length of time the drug is under regulatory review. Patent extension cannot extend the remaining term of a patent beyond a total of 14 years from the date of product approval and only one patent applicable to an approved drug may be extended.
Similar provisions are available in Europe and other foreign jurisdictions to extend the term of a patent that covers an approved drug. In these jurisdictions, however, no interim extensions exist and the marketing approval must be granted before the patent expires. In the future, if and when our pharmaceutical products receive FDA approval, we expect to apply for patent term extensions on patents covering those products. While we anticipate that any such applications for patent term extensions will likely be granted, we cannot predict the precise length of time for which such patent terms would be extended in the United States, Europe or other jurisdictions. If we are not able to secure patent term extensions on patents covering our products for meaningful periods of additional time, we may not achieve or sustain profitability, which would adversely affect our business.
In addition to patent protection, our products may benefit from the market-exclusivity provisions contained in the orphan-drug regulations or the pediatric-exclusivity provisions or other provisions of the FDA Act, such as new chemical entity exclusivity or new formulation exclusivity. Orphan drug regulations provide incentives to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to develop and manufacture drugs for the treatment of rare diseases, currently defined as diseases that exist in fewer than 200,000 individuals in the U.S., or diseases that affect more than 200,000 individuals in the U.S. but that the sponsor does not realistically anticipate will generate a net profit. Under these provisions, a manufacturer of a designated orphan drug can seek tax benefits, and the holder of the first FDA approval of a designated orphan product will be granted a seven-year period of marketing exclusivity for such FDA-approved orphan product. In the U.S., the FDA has the authority to grant additional data protection for approved drugs where the sponsor conducts specified testing in pediatric or adolescent populations. If granted, this pediatric exclusivity provides an additional six months which are added to the term of data protection as well as to the term of any relevant patents, to the extent these protections have not already expired. We may also seek to utilize market exclusivities in other territories, such as in the EU. There can be no assurance that any of our drug candidates will obtain such orphan drug designation, pediatric exclusivity, new chemical entity exclusivity or any other market exclusivity in the U.S., the EU or any other territory, or that we will be the first to receive the regulatory approval in a given country or territory for such drugs so as to be eligible for any market exclusivity protection.
Zoptrex™
We have licensed the intellectual property and associated rights relating to LHRH agonists and LH-RH antagonists carrying various cytotoxic radicals (including zoptarelin doxorubicin) from the Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund ("Tulane") pursuant to a license agreement dated September 17, 2002 between Tulane, as licensor, and AEZS GmbH, as licensee (the "Tulane Agreement"). The Tulane Agreement grants to us an exclusive worldwide license for all therapeutic uses of LH-RH agonists and LH-RH antagonists carrying various cytotoxic radicals, to the extent covered by one of the patents listed below. The term of the Tulane Agreement continues for ten years after the first commercial sale of a product based on the licensed intellectual property

32



(a "Licensed Product") or until the expiration of the last to expire of the patents listed below, whichever is longer, on a country-by- country basis.
Pursuant to the Tulane Agreement, we are required to pay Tulane the following amounts: (i) $400,000 upon the first grant of regulatory approval for a Licensed Product in the U.S., Canada, the EU or Japan; (ii) 10% of all consideration received by us from a sublicensee for authorization to use the licensed intellectual property to develop, manufacture, market, distribute and sell a Licensed Product; (iii) 2.5% of our net sales of Licensed Products; and (iv) 50% of any royalties that we receive from a sublicensee with respect to its net sales of Licensed Products; provided, however, that the payment with respect to royalties received from a sublicensee shall not be less than 1.75% nor more than 2.5% of the sublicensee's net sales of the Licensed Product.
The following patents are covered by the Tulane Agreement:
U.S. patent 5,843,903 covers zoptarelin doxorubicin and other related targeted cytotoxic anthracycline analogs, pharmaceutical compositions comprising the compounds as well as their medical use for the treatment of tumors. This patent expired in November 2015.
European patent 0 863 917 B1 covers zoptarelin doxorubicin and other related targeted cytotoxic anthracycline analogs, pharmaceutical compositions comprising the compounds as well as their medical use for the treatment of tumors. This patent expired in November 2016.
Japanese patent 3 987 575 covers zoptarelin doxorubicin and other related targeted cytotoxic anthracycline analogs, pharmaceutical compositions comprising the compounds as well as their medical use for the treatment of tumors. This patent expired in November 2016.
Chinese patent ZL96198605.0 covers zoptarelin doxorubicin and other related targeted cytotoxic anthracycline analogs, pharmaceutical compositions comprising the compounds as well as their medical use for the treatment of tumors. This patent expired in November 2016.
Hong Kong patent 1017363 covers zoptarelin doxorubicin and other related targeted cytotoxic anthracycline analogs, pharmaceutical compositions comprising the compounds as well as their medical use for the treatment of tumors. This patent expired in November 2016.
In early 2015, we filed a European patent application directed to a novel method of manufacturing Zoptrex™. Within the 12 months priority period, we also filed an international patent application for the manufacturing process, as well as national patent applications in selected countries, including the U.S., China, and Taiwan, Japan and India. We decided to file patent applications in additional territories after the European Patent Office issued a search report for the European patent application that we consider to be favorable. The claimed manufacturing process is expected to result in a significant reduction in our cost of manufacturing Zoptrex™, providing us with what should be a stronger competitive position and discouraging competition from generic manufacturers after our five-year period of data exclusivity expires.
Macrilen™ (macimorelin):
We hold the worldwide rights to macimorelin pursuant to an exclusive license agreement with the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, as licensor, and AEZS GmbH, as licensee.
The following patents relate to Macrilen™ (macimorelin):
U.S. patent 6,861,409 covers Macrilen™ (macimorelin) and U.S. patent 7,297,681 covers other related growth hormone secretagogue compounds, each also covering pharmaceutical compositions comprising the compounds as well as their medical use for elevating the plasma level of growth hormone. U.S. patent 6,861,409 and U.S. patent 7,297,681 both expire in August 2022.
European patent 1 289 951 covers Macrilen™ (macimorelin) and European patent 1 344 773 covers other related growth hormone secretagogue compounds, pharmaceutical compositions comprising the compounds as well as their medical use for elevating the plasma level of growth hormone. EP patent 1 289 951 and EP patent 1 344 773 both expire in June 2021.
Japanese patent 3 522 265 covers Macrilen™ (macimorelin) and pharmaceutical compositions comprising the compounds as well as their medical use for elevating the plasma level of growth hormone. This patent expires in June 2021.
Canadian patent 2,407,659 covers Macrilen™ (macimorelin) and pharmaceutical compositions comprising the compounds as well as their medical use for elevating the plasma level of growth hormone. This patent expires in June 2021.
U.S. patent 8,192,719 covers a method of assessing pituitary-related growth hormone deficiency in a human or animal subject

33



comprising an oral administration of the compound Macrilen™ (macimorelin) and determination of the level of growth hormone in the sample and assessing whether the level of growth hormone in the sample is indicative of growth hormone deficiency. This patent expires in October 2027.
European patent 1 984 744 covers a method of assessing pituitary-related growth hormone deficiency by oral administration of Macrilen™ (macimorelin). This patent expires in February 2027.
Japanese patent 4 852 728 covers a method of assessing pituitary-related growth hormone deficiency by oral administration of Macrilen™ (macimorelin). This patent expires in February 2027.
Disorazol Z - LHRH conjugates (AEZS-138):
We own a number of patents that relate to our Disorazol Z - LHRH conjugates, as follows:
U.S. patent 7,741,277 covers AEZS-138 (disorazol Z - LHRH conjugate). This patent expires in January 2028 (including PTA).
U.S. patent 8,470,776 covers methods of treatment for compound AEZS-138 (disorazol Z - LHRH conjugate). This patent expires in February 2029 (including PTA).
European patent application 2,066,679 covers AEZS-138 (disorazol Z - LHRH conjugate) as well as methods of treatment for this compound. If granted, this patent will expire in September 2027.
Japanese patent 5,340,155 covers AEZS-138 (disorazol Z - LHRH conjugate) as well as methods of treatment for this compound. This patent expires in September 2027.
C.
Organizational structure
Our corporate structure, the jurisdiction of incorporation of our direct and indirect subsidiaries and the percentage of shares that we held in those subsidiaries as at December 31, 2017 is depicted in the chart set forth under the caption "Item 4.A. History and development of the Company".

34



D.
Property, plants and equipment
Our registered address is located in Montreal, Canada. Our corporate head office is located in Summerville, South Carolina, which is a suburb of Charleston, South Carolina. We do not own any real property. The following table sets forth information with respect to our main facilities as at December 31, 2017.
Location
 
Use of space
 
Square Footage
 
Type of interest
315 Sigma Drive, Summerville SC 29486
 
Partially occupied for management, administration, commercial operations and business development
 
300

 
Leasehold
Weismüllerstr. 50
D-60314
Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany
 
Occupied for management, R&D, business development and administration
 
36,168

 
Leasehold
We believe that our current facilities are adequate to meet our ongoing needs and that, if we require additional space, we will be able to obtain additional facilities on commercially reasonable terms.

Item 4A
Unresolved Staff Comments
None.
Item 5.
Operating and Financial Review and Prospects
Key Developments
Macrilen™ (macimorelin), a ghrelin receptor agonist, is a novel orally-active small molecule that stimulates the secretion of growth hormone. Macrilen™ (macimorelin) has been granted orphan drug designation by the FDA for the evaluation of growth hormone deficiency. We own the worldwide rights to this novel patented compound. Macrilen™ (macimorelin) is our proposed trade name for macimorelin. The proposed trade name was conditionally approved by the FDA. On December 16, 2016, we were advised by the EMA that Macrilen™ was rejected as the proposed invented name for macimorelin because of its similarity to the names of other medicines. On March 8, 2018, we applied for two new invented names for macimorelin: Macrilen ST and Macrilen GHST; however, we are also evaluating alternative names given recent feedback received from the EMA.
In late 2016, we concluded a confirmatory Phase 3 clinical trial of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) for the evaluation of growth hormone deficiency in adults AGHD. The confirmatory trial was an open-label, randomized, two-way crossover study that compared the results of the evaluation of AGHD using Macrilen™ (macimorelin) to the results of the evaluation of AGHD using a procedure known as the "Insulin Tolerance Test" (the "ITT") on the same patients. The trial involved patients, each of whom was evaluated for AGHD using both Macrilen™(macimorelin) and the ITT. Thirty of the patients were evaluated using Macrilen™(macimorelin) a second time to measure the repeatability of the result obtained using Macrilen™ (macimorelin) as the evaluation method. The study population consisted of more than 110 patients who were suspected of having AGHD as a result of the presence of one or more symptoms. This segment of the population included a range of patients from those considered at low risk of having AGHD to those considered at high risk. The study population also included 25 healthy subjects, who had no risk of having AGHD.
On January 4, 2017, we announced that the confirmatory Phase 3 clinical trial of Macrilen™(macimorelin) failed to achieve its objective of validating a single oral dose of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) for the evaluation of AGHD, using the ITT as a comparator. Based on an analysis of top-line data, Macrilen™ (macimorelin) did not achieve equivalence to the ITT as a means of diagnosing AGHD. Under the study protocol, the evaluation of AGHD with Macrilen™ (macimorelin) would have been considered successful if the lower bound of the two-sided 95% confidence interval for the primary efficacy variables was 75% or higher for "percent negative agreement" with the ITT, and 70% or higher for the "percent positive agreement" with the ITT. While the estimated percent negative agreement met the success criteria, the estimated percent positive agreement did not reach the criteria for a successful outcome. Therefore, the results did not meet the pre-defined equivalence criteria which required success for both the percent negative agreement and the percent positive agreement.
On February 13, 2017, we announced that, following a comprehensive review of the data obtained from the confirmatory Phase 3 clinical trial of Macrilen™(macimorelin) for the evaluation of AGHD using the ITT as a comparator, we concluded that Macrilen™(macimorelin) demonstrated performance supportive of FDA registration consideration.

35



On March 7, 2017, we announced that the Pediatric Committee of the EMA agreed to our Pediatric Investigation Plan ("PIP") for Macrilen™ (macimorelin) and agreed that we may defer conducting the PIP until after we file an MAA seeking marketing authorization for the use of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) for the evaluation of AGHD.
On March 30, 2017, we announced that, following our meeting with the FDA on March 29, 2017, we intended to file an NDA seeking approval of MacrilenTM (macimorelin) for the evaluation of AGHD. The announcement also indicated that during our meeting with the FDA, the FDA stated that the clinical studies performed with respect to MacrilenTM (macimorelin) address the prior deficiencies mentioned in the November 5, 2014 complete response letter and that this conclusion paved the way for re-submission by us of an NDA for MacrilenTM (macimorelin). While indicating that the conclusions regarding the performance of MacrilenTM (macimorelin) are review issues subject to an examination of the complete data set, the FDA indicated that the summary data submitted by us prior to the meeting appear to support the propositions advanced by us. Most importantly, the FDA specified the additional statistical analysis of existing data that would be required to further support our conclusions.
On June 30, 2017, we announced that we had resubmitted an NDA to the FDA seeking approval of MacrilenTM (macimorelin).
On July 18, 2017, we announced that we had been notified by the FDA that our NDA seeking approval of MacrilenTM (macimorelin) for the evaluation of AGHD had been accepted as a complete response to the FDA's November 5, 2014 complete response letter and granted a PDUFA date of December 30, 2017.
On November 27, 2017, we announced that the MAA for the use of MacrilenTM (macimorelin) for the evaluation of AGHD has been accepted by the EMA for regulatory review. The start of the EMA review procedure for the MAA has been confirmed by EMA as November 23, 2017.
On December 20, 2017, we announced that the FDA granted marketing approval for MacrilenTM (macimorelin) to be used in the diagnosis of patients with AGHD. On January 17, 2018, we announced that through AEZS Germany, we entered into the Strongbridge License Agreement to carry out development, manufacturing, registration and commercialization of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) in the United States and Canada. We continue to explore various alternatives to monetize our rights to Macimorelin in other countries around the globe.




36



Outsourcing and Out-Licensing Non-Strategic Activities/Assets
outsourcea01.jpg
Zoptrex™
On May 1, 2017, we announced that the ZoptEC pivotal Phase 3 clinical study of Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) in women with locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic endometrial cancer did not achieve its primary endpoint of demonstrating a statistically significant increase in the median period of overall survival of patients treated with Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) as compared to patients treated with doxorubicin. The results of the study are not supportive to pursue regulatory approval by the FDA. Based on this outcome, we do not anticipate conducting clinical trials of Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) with respect to any other indications. We also discontinued the development of AEZS-138/Disorazol Z, as it was based on the same concept as Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin).
Commercial Operations
Our commercial operations were significantly reduced in the fourth quarter of 2017. We eliminated our contract sales team in its entirety, as well as remaining sales management in November 2017, in accordance with the terms of our agreement with inVentiv Commercial Services, LLC, an affiliate of inVentiv Health, Inc. ("inVentiv"), a contract-sales organization.
Pursuant to termination of the inVentiv agreement, we ended our co-promotion with EMD Serono, Inc. and Armune BioScience, Inc.
Until termination of our sales team in November 2017, the inVentiv sales force promoted two products during 2017:
Saizen® [somatropin (rDNA origin) for injection] is a prescription medicine indicated for the treatment of growth hormone deficiency in children and adults. We promoted Saizen® pursuant to our promotional services agreement (the "EMD Serono Agreement") with EMD Serono, which we entered into in May 2015 and amended as of December 31, 2016. The EMD Serono Agreement, as amended, provided that we were to promote Saizen® in specific agreed-upon U.S. territories to adult and pediatric endocrinologists in exchange for a sales commission that was based upon new patient starts of the product. The agreement was terminated in accordance with its terms on December, 13 2017.
APIFINY® is the only cancer-specific, non-PSA blood test for the evaluation of the risk of prostate cancer. The test was developed by Armune BioScience, Inc. ("Armune"), 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. We entered into a co-marketing agreement with Armune in November 2015 (the "Armune Agreement"), which was amended effective as of June 1, 2016, which allowed us to exclusively promote APIFINY® throughout the entire United States. We received a commission for each test performed resulting from our targeted promotion without regard to any established baseline. The Armune Agreement, as amended, had a three-year term that renewed automatically for successive one-year periods. The parties agreed in January 2018 that the Armune Agreement was terminated.
Effective on November 3, 2017, we terminated the employment of Jude Dinges, our Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer.


37



Corporate Activities
In July 2017, our subsidiary located in Germany and its Works Council approved a restructuring program (the "2017 German Restructuring"), which was rolled out as a consequence of the negative Phase 3 clinical trial results of Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) announced on May 1, 2017 and the related impact on our product pipeline. This was also part of the continued strategy to transition the Company into a commercially operating specialty biopharmaceutical organization focused on the development and commercialization of Macrilen™ (macimorelin), including through out-licensing arrangements and pursuing in-licensing opportunities. The goal of the 2017 German Restructuring is to reduce to a minimum our research and development ("R&D") activities and is expected to result in the termination of approximately 24 employees of the German subsidiary.
The Company started implementing the 2017 German Restructuring in the fourth quarter of 2017, with staff departures expected to be completed over a period of approximately 18 months. Total initial restructuring costs associated with the 2017 German Restructuring include severance accruals and other directly related costs ($2,002,000) and an onerous lease provision ($1,113,000), which has been recorded as follows in the accompanying consolidated statement of comprehensive loss: $2,644,000 in R&D costs, $275,000 in General and administrative ("G&A") expenses and $196,000 in selling expenses. These estimated costs may vary as a result of changes in the underlying assumptions applied thereto, including but not limited to, the time needed to sublease the unused premises. Most of the restructuring accruals are expected to be paid in the financial year ending December 31, 2018.
CEO Appointment and CFO Resignation and Appointment
On July 20, 2017, the board of directors of the Company (the "Board") announced the appointment of Michael Ward as the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer ("CEO"). Further, on September 25, 2017, the Company announced the appointment of Jeffrey Whitnell to the position of Interim Chief Financial Officer ("CFO"). Mr. Whitnell resigned as CFO effective December 7, 2017.
On March 5, 2018, the Company appointed James Clavijo as the Chief Financial Officer, effective that date.
Strategic Review Committee
On July 20, 2017, the Company announced that the Board had established a special committee of independent directors (the "Strategic Review Committee") to develop, consider, investigate and exercise oversight relating to potential strategic alternatives to maximize potential future growth and stakeholder value of the Company, including continuing to execute on our existing business plan and/or considering and recommending changes to our management and governance.
On August 8, 2017, we announced that the Strategic Review Committee engaged a consulting firm and a financial advisor to assist in its efforts. The Strategic Review Committee retained Stifel, Nicolaus & Company as advisor in part to validate the commercial potential of Macrilen™(macimorelin) to assist it in determining the best means of maximizing value, which included evaluating and recommending modes of distribution including entering into partnerships or building an internal sales force, raising capital including through an investment from a strategic partner, or selling some or all of the Company and its assets. On January 16, 2018, through AEZS Germany, the Company entered into the Strongbridge License Agreement.
In January 2018, in accordance with the written mandate of the Strategic Review Committee, the members of the Strategic Review Committee determined that the responsibilities of the Strategic Review Committee had been performed and were at an end and the Strategic Review Committee was dissolved effective as of January 22, 2018.
Contingencies
In late July 2017, we terminated for cause the employment of Mr. David A. Dodd, the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and the employment of Mr. Philip A. Theodore, the former Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of the Company. All outstanding stock options held by both former officers were cancelled effective as of their respective termination dates, in accordance with the provisions of our Stock Option Plan (as defined below).
On August 3, 2017, we announced that we had filed a lawsuit against both Messrs. Dodd and Theodore for damages suffered by us for breach of confidence and/or breach of fiduciary duty in an amount to be determined prior to trial. We are also seeking, among other things, an injunction to prevent both Messrs. Dodd and Theodore from (i) continuing to use our confidential and proprietary information without authorization; and (ii) mounting a proxy contest that will be premised upon the breaches of fiduciary and statutory duties and breaches of confidence alleged in the lawsuit. We engaged external counsel to conduct an internal investigation related to this lawsuit, which is still ongoing.
On December 21, 2017, Messrs. Dodd and Theodore brought a counterclaim against the Company and its Chair, Carolyn Egbert, in the amount of CAN$6.0 million alleging, among other things, that defamatory statements were made against Messrs. Dodd and

38



Theodore. The Company and its Chair consider the counterclaim against them to be entirely without merit, and intend to vigorously defend against the counterclaim.
In August 2017, Mr. Dodd filed a lawsuit in the Court of Common Pleas of South Carolina against us for damages of approximately U.S.$1.7 million. He is also requesting that all of his outstanding stock options vest effective upon his termination date. We cannot predict at this time the final outcome or potential losses, if any, with respect to this lawsuit. On September 5, 2017, the lawsuit in the Court of Common Pleas of South Carolina was moved to the Federal Court in South Carolina.
Cogas Consulting, LLC ("Cogas") filed a lawsuit against the Company in state court in Fulton County, Georgia on February 2, 2018. Cogas alleges that its employee (and sole shareholder) John Sharkey is entitled to a "success fee" commission on the Strongbridge License Agreement. Cogas is claiming damages in the form of a lost commission on the transaction. Cogas claims its commission is 5% on payments the Company receives within the first three years after January 14, 2018. Cogas alleges it is entitled to 5% of the $24 million Strongbridge already paid the Company, plus 5% of any royalty Strongbridge pays the Company through January 17, 2021. The Company plans to vigorously defend this matter.


39



A.
Operating Results

Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Loss Information
 
 
Three months ended December 31,
 
Years ended December 31,
(in thousands, except share and per share data)
 
2017
 
2016
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
 
$
 
$
 
$
 
$
 
$
Revenues
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sales commission and other
 
59

 
94

 
465

 
414

 
297

License fees
 
119

 
210

 
458

 
497

 
248

 
 
178

 
304

 
923

 
911

 
545

Operating expenses
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Research and development costs
 
526

 
4,619

 
10,704

 
16,495

 
17,234

General and administrative expenses
 
2,778

 
1,757

 
8,198

 
7,147

 
11,308

Selling expenses
 
452

 
1,526

 
5,095

 
6,745

 
6,887

 
 
3,756

 
7,902

 
23,997

 
30,387

 
35,429

Loss from operations
 
(3,578
)
 
(7,598
)
 
(23,074
)
 
(29,476
)
 
(34,884
)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gain (loss) due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates
 
72

 
(396
)
 
502

 
(70
)
 
(1,767
)
Change in fair value of warrant liability
 
(478
)
 
(245
)
 
2,222

 
4,437

 
(10,956
)
Warrant exercise inducement fee
 

 

 

 

 
(2,926
)
Other finance income
 
21

 
19

 
75

 
150

 
305

Net finance income (costs)
 
(385
)
 
(622
)
 
2,799

 
4,517

 
(15,344
)
Loss before income taxes
 
(3,963
)
 
(8,220
)
 
(20,275
)
 
(24,959
)
 
(50,228
)
Income tax recovery
 
3,479

 

 
3,479

 

 

Net loss from continuing operations
 
(484
)
 
(8,220
)
 
(16,796
)
 
(24,959
)
 
(50,228
)
Net income from discontinued operations
 

 

 

 

 
85

Net loss
 
(484
)
 
(8,220
)
 
(16,796
)
 
(24,959
)
 
(50,143
)
Other comprehensive loss:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Items that may be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Foreign currency translation adjustments
 
(238
)
 
870

 
(1,430
)
 
569

 
1,509

Items that will not be reclassified to profit or loss:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Actuarial gain (loss) on defined benefit plans
 
59

 
1,143

 
694

 
(1,479
)
 
844

Comprehensive loss
 
(663
)
 
(6,207
)
 
(17,532
)
 
(25,869
)
 
(47,790
)
Net loss per share (basic and diluted) from continuing operations1
 
(0.03
)
 
(0.71
)
 
(1.12
)
 
(2.41
)
 
(18.17
)
Net income per share (basic and diluted) from discontinued operations1
 

 

 

 

 
0.03

Net loss per share (basic and diluted)1
 
(0.03
)
 
(0.71
)
 
(1.12
)
 
(2.41
)
 
(18.14
)
Weighted average number of shares outstanding:1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic and Diluted
 
16,440,760

 
11,565,210

 
14,958,704

 
10,348,879

 
2,763,603

1 
Adjusted to reflect the November 17, 2015 100-to-1 Share Consolidation
Our operating and financial review and prospects should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements, accompanying notes and other information appearing in this Annual Report.

40



2017 compared to 2016
Revenues
Sales commission and other were $0.1 million and $0.5 million for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017 and $0.1 million and $0.4 million for the same periods in 2016, and thus increased in 2017 as compared to 2016. In 2017, those revenues mainly resulted from our sales team exceeding pre-established unit sales baseline thresholds under our co-promotion agreement to sell Saizen®. We also generated sales commission in connection with our promotion of APIFINY®. In the corresponding periods in 2016, sales commission and other revenues were mainly related to EstroGel®.
License fees were $0.1 million and $0.5 million for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017, as compared to $0.2 million and $0.5 million for the same periods in 2016.
The Company currently has deferred revenues at December 31, 2017 of $541,000 relating to non-refundable upfront payments it previously received for licensing and technology transfer arrangements that it entered into with respect to the development of Zoptrex™ in various territories. Due to events that occurred in 2018, the Company does not anticipate development of Zoptrex™ under the licensing agreements, therefore the Company's remaining carrying amount of deferred revenues will be recognized in the first quarter of 2018 as income.
Operating Expenses
R&D costs were $0.5 million and $10.7 million for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017, compared to $4.6 million and $16.5 million for the same periods in 2016. R&D costs decreased for the three-month and twelve-month periods ended December 31, 2017 as compared to the same period in 2016. The decrease in R&D costs is mainly attributable to lower comparative third-party costs, as described below, partially offset by the recording, in the third quarter of 2017, of a provision in connection with the 2017 German Restructuring.
Additionally, the decrease in our R&D costs for the twelve months ended December 31, 2017, as compared to the same period in 2016, is attributable to lower employee compensation and benefits costs, lower facilities rent and maintenance costs as well as lower other costs. A substantial portion of this decrease is due to the realization of cost savings in connection with our ongoing efforts to streamline our R&D activities and to increase our commercial operations and flexibility by reducing our R&D staff, which was started in 2014 (the "Resource Optimization Program"). The R&D costs for the year ended December 31, 2017 were lower than anticipated mainly because we were able to negotiate reductions to a change order received from our principal R&D third-party service provider.
The following table summarizes our net R&D costs by nature of expense:
 
 
Three months ended December 31,
 
Years ended December 31,
 
(in thousands)
 
2017
 
2016
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
 
 
$
 
$
 
$
 
$
 
$
 
Third-party costs
 
(539
)
 
3,233

 
3,936

 
11,829

 
11,891

 
Employee compensation and benefits
 
822

 
845

 
4,868

*
3,216

 
3,699

 
Facilities rent and maintenance
 
273

 
232

 
1,898

**
873

 
940

 
Other costs***
 
86

 
309

 
138

 
579

 
727

 
Gain on disposal of equipment
 
(116
)
 

 
(136
)
 
(2
)
 
(23
)
 
 
 
526

 
4,619

 
10,704

 
16,495

 
17,234

 
_________________________
*     Includes a provision for restructuring in the amount of $1.6 million.
** Includes a provision for restructuring in the amount of $1.0 million.
*** Includes mainly depreciation, amortization, impairment, reversal of impairment, gain on disposal of equipment and operating foreign exchange losses.
 

41



The following table summarizes third-party R&D costs, by product candidate, incurred by the Company during the three months ended December 31, 2017 and 2016.
(in thousands, except percentages)
 
Three months ended December 31,
Product Candidate
 
2017
 
2016
 
 
$
 
%
 
$
 
%
Zoptrex™
 
(89
)
 
16.5

 
1,453

 
44.9

Macrilen™
 
(471
)
 
87.4

 
1,568

 
48.5

LHRH - Disorazol Z
 

 
(0.2
)
 
16

 
0.5

Erk inhibitors
 
1

 

 
86

 
2.7

Other
 
20

 
(3.7
)
 
110

 
3.4

 
 
(539
)
 
100.0

 
3,233

 
100.0

The following table summarizes third-party R&D costs, by product candidate, incurred by the Company during the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015.
(in thousands, except percentages)
 
Years ended December 31,
Product Candidate
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
 
$
 
%
 
$
 
%
 
$
 
%
Zoptrex™
 
2,495

 
63.4

 
6,742

 
57.0

 
8,635

 
72.6

Macrilen™
 
1,237

 
31.4

 
4,326

 
36.6

 
1,555

 
13.1

LHRH - Disorazol Z
 
44

 
1.1

 
294

 
2.5

 
212

 
1.8

Erk Inhibitors
 
18

 
0.5

 
130

 
1.1

 
1,081

 
9.1

Other
 
142

 
3.6

 
337

 
2.8

 
408

 
3.4

 
 
3,936

 
100.0

 
11,829

 
100.0

 
11,891

 
100.0

As shown above, a substantial portion of the R&D costs relates to development initiatives associated with Zoptrex™, and with our pivotal Phase 3 ZoptEC clinical trial initiated in 2013 with Ergomed. Third-party costs attributable to Zoptrex™ decreased considerably during the twelve months ended December 31, 2017, as compared to the same period in 2016, mainly since we completed the clinical portion of the ZoptEC trial during the first quarter of 2017 which was partially offset by the additional liability recognized following the negative ZoptrexTM top-line results.
Third-party costs attributable to Zoptrex™ decreased during the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017, as compared to the same period in 2016, mainly since we closed out the study and related activities in the second quarter following the negative ZoptrexTM top-line results on May 1, 2017. The negative costs for the three-month period ended December 31, 2017 are mainly explained by lower close out costs as compared to the accrual made in the second quarter.
Third-party costs attributable to Macrilen™ (macimorelin) decreased during the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017, as compared to the same period in 2016. This is mainly since we completed the Phase 3 clinical trial at the end of 2016. The costs incurred in 2017 related to the detailed analysis of the top-line results as well as the preparation of the NDA filing which was submitted on June 30, 2017. The costs reversal in the fourth quarter of 2017 are explained mainly by the reductions to close out costs.
Excluding the impact of foreign exchange rate fluctuations, we expect that we will incur overall R&D costs of between $1.0 million and $2.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2018.
G&A expenses were $2.8 million and $8.2 million for both the three and twelve-month periods ended December 31, 2017, as compared to $1.8 million and $7.1 million for the same periods in 2016. The increase in our G&A costs for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017, as compared to the same period in 2016, is mainly due to outside legal costs. The G&A expenses are in line with expectations.

42



Excluding the impact of foreign exchange rate fluctuations and the recording of transaction costs related to potential financing activities (not currently known or estimable), we expect that G&A expenses will range between $9.0 million and $11.0 million in 2018.
Selling expenses were $0.5 million and $5.1 million for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017, as compared to $1.5 million and $6.7 million for the same periods in 2016. Selling expenses for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 represent mainly the costs of our sales force related to the co-promotion activities as well as our sales management team. The decrease in selling expenses is explained by the elimination of sales representatives. In the fourth quarter, we eliminated all sales representatives as part of the restructuring efforts. Based on currently available information, we expect selling expenses to range between $0.2 million and $0.5 million in 2018.
Net finance income (costs) was $(0.4) million and $2.8 million for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017, as compared to $(0.6) million and $4.5 million, for the same periods in 2016. The decrease in finance income is mainly attributable to the change in fair value of warrant liability. Such change in fair value results from the periodic "mark-to-market" revaluation, via the application of pricing models, of outstanding share purchase warrants. The closing price of our common shares, which, on the NASDAQ, fluctuated from $0.84 to $3.65 during the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2017, compared to $2.67 to $4.94 during the same period in 2016, also had a direct impact on the change in fair value of warrant liability.
Net loss for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017 was $0.5 million and $16.8 million (or $0.03 and $1.12 per share), as compared to a net loss of $8.2 million and $25.0 million (or $0.71 and $2.41 per share) for the same periods in 2016. The decrease in net loss for the three-month period ended December 31, 2017 is a result of the reduction in third party R&D costs. The reduction is attributed to closing out the Zoptrex study and successful completion in the U.S. of the Macrilen™ (macimorelin) filing.

2016 compared to 2015
Revenues
Revenues were $0.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 compared to $0.5 million for the same period in 2015. In 2016, the sales commission and other revenue mainly resulted from our sales team exceeding pre-established unit sales baseline thresholds under our co-promotion agreement to sell Saizen®. We also generated sales commission in connection with our promotion of APIFINY®. In the corresponding periods in 2015, sales commission and other revenues were mainly related to EstroGel®. The increase in licensing fees is explained by the out-licensing agreements that we entered into in 2016 for ZoptrexTM.
Operating Expenses
R&D costs were $16.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 compared to $17.2 million for the same period in 2015.
The decrease in our R&D costs for the twelve months ended December 31, 2016, as compared to the same period in 2015, is attributable to lower employee compensation and benefits costs, lower facilities rent and maintenance costs as well as lower other costs. A substantial portion of this decrease is due to the realization of cost savings in connection with the Resource Optimization Program.
In addition, during 2015, we initiated the new confirmatory Phase 3 clinical trial of Macrilen™ (macimorelin), which explains the increase in costs for this product candidate. The first patient was enrolled in the fourth quarter of 2015, we announced completion of patient recruitment in the fourth quarter of 2016 and we announced top-line results of the trial on January 4, 2017. Finally, in 2015, we also decided to suspend our efforts on internally developing Erk inhibitor, a molecule for potential cancer therapies, to conserve our resources for other projects.
G&A expenses were $7.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, as compared to $11.3 million for the same period in 2015. The decrease in our G&A costs for 2016, as compared to the same periods in 2015, is due to the recording of a provision, in the fourth quarter of 2015, related to a corporate restructuring that we announced on October 12, 2015 (the "2015 Corporate Restructuring"). The 2015 Corporate Restructuring included the restructuring of our finance and accounting staff and the closure of our office in Quebec City. As a result of the 2015 Corporate Restructuring, recurring G&A expenses also decreased in 2016, as compared to 2015. Finally, the comparative decrease is also explained by certain transaction costs allocated to warrants in connection with the completion of share issuances in March and December 2015.
Selling expenses were $6.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, as compared to $6.9 million for the same period in 2015. The selling expenses are slightly below what we anticipated because we postponed some expenses related to the potential

43



commercial launch of Zoptrex™ and Macrilen™ (macimorelin) mainly because the related clinical trials took more time than expected.
Net finance income (costs) were $4.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, as compared to $(15.3) million for the same period in 2015 and are comprised predominantly of the change in fair value of warrant liability and of gains and losses recorded due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates.
The change in fair value of our warrant liability results from the periodic "mark-to-market" revaluation, via the application of the pricing models, of share purchase warrants that were outstanding during the relevant period. The "mark-to-market" warrant valuation was most notably impacted by the issuance of 3.1 million additional share purchase warrants in 2015 and by the closing price of our common shares, which, on the NASDAQ, fluctuated from $2.67 to $4.94 during the year ended December 31, 2016 and from $4.00 to $84.20 during the year ended December 31, 2015.
In addition, with specific reference to 2015, finance costs were also impacted by the warrant exercise inducement fee paid to certain holders of the Series B Warrants.
Net loss for the year ended December 31, 2016 was $(25.0) million, or $(2.41) per basic and diluted share compared to $(50.1) million, or $(18.14) per basic and diluted share for the same period in 2015. The decrease in our net loss for the year ended December 31, 2016, as compared to the same period in 2015, is due to the lower comparative R&D costs and G&A expenses and the change in fair value of warrant liability as presented above.
Quarterly Consolidated Results of Operations Information
(in thousands, except for per share data)
 
Three months ended
 
 
December 31, 2017
 
September 30, 2017
 
June 30, 2017
 
March 31, 2017
 
 
$
 
$
 
$
 
$
Revenues
 
178

 
241

 
243

 
261

Loss from operations
 
(3,578
)
 
(7,200
)
 
(6,679
)
 
(5,617
)
Net loss
 
(484
)
 
(9,631
)
 
(2,550
)
 
(4,131
)
Net loss per share (basic and diluted)*
 
(0.03
)
 
(0.61
)
 
(0.18
)
 
(0.31
)
(in thousands, except for per share data)
 
Three months ended
 
 
December 31, 2016
 
September 30, 2016
 
June 30, 2016
 
March 31, 2016
 
 
$
 
$
 
$
 
$
Revenues
 
304

 
269

 
96

 
242

Loss from operations
 
(7,598
)
 
(7,703
)
 
(7,184
)
 
(6,991
)
Net loss
 
(8,220
)
 
(6,055
)
 
(7,008
)
 
(3,676
)
Net loss per share (basic and diluted)*
 
(0.71
)
 
(0.61
)
 
(0.71
)
 
(0.37
)
_________________________
*    Net loss per share is based on the weighted average number of shares outstanding during each reporting period, which may differ on a quarter-to-quarter basis. As such, the sum of the quarterly net loss per share amounts may not equal full-year net loss per share.
Historical quarterly results of operations and net loss cannot be taken as reflective of recurring revenue or expenditure patterns or of predictable trends, largely given the non-recurring nature of certain components of our historical revenues, due most notably to unpredictable quarterly variations attributable to our net finance income, which in turn are comprised mainly of the impact of the periodic "mark-to-market" revaluation of our warrant liability and of foreign exchange gains and losses. Additionally, our net R&D costs have historically varied on a quarter-over-quarter basis due to the ramping up or winding down of potential product candidate activities, which in turn are dependent upon many factors that often do not occur on a linear or predictable basis. Our selling expenses have been consistent but can also vary on a quarter-over-quarter basis due to the ramping up of pre-commercialization activities associated with Macrilen™ (macimorelin).

44



Condensed Consolidated Statement of Financial Position Information
 
 
December 31,
(in thousands)
 
2017
 
2016
 
 
$
 
$
Cash and cash equivalents 1
 
7,780

 
21,999

Trade and other receivables and other current assets
 
958

 
744

Restricted cash equivalents
 
381

 
496

Inventory
 
643

 

Property, plant and equipment
 
101

 
204

Deferred tax assets
 
3,479

 

Other non-current assets
 
8,853

 
8,216

Total assets
 
22,195

 
31,659

Payables and other current liabilities
 
2,987

 
3,745

Provision for restructuring costs
 
2,296

 
33

Current portion of deferred revenues
 
486

 
426

Warrant liability
 
3,897

 
6,854

Non-financial non-current liabilities 2
 
15,312

 
14,389

Total liabilities
 
24,978

 
25,447

Shareholders' (deficiency) equity
 
(2,783
)
 
6,212

Total liabilities and shareholders' (deficiency) equity
 
22,195

 
31,659

_________________________
1.
Approximately $0.6 million and $1.5 million were denominated in EUR as at December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively, and approximately $1.0 million and $3.7 million were denominated in Canadian dollars as at December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively.
 
2.
Comprised mainly of employee future benefits, provisions for onerous contracts and non-current portion of deferred revenues.

The decrease in cash and cash equivalents as at December 31, 2017, as compared to December 31, 2016, is due to the net cash used in operating activities including variations in components of our working capital. The decrease was partially offset by the net proceeds generated by various issuances of common shares under our April 2016, March 2017 and April 2017 "At-the-Market" ("ATM") Programs.
The increase in inventory is the result of capitalizing direct manufacturing costs incurred from Macrilen™ (macimorelin) following its FDA approval.
The decrease in payables and other current liabilities is mainly attributable to the reduction in R&D costs and selling expenses, partially offset by an increase in G&A expenses, in the fourth quarter of 2017 as compared to the fourth quarter of 2016 which is explained by the completion of our Phase 3 clinical trials.
The decrease in our warrant liability from December 31, 2016 to December 31, 2017 is mainly due to a net fair value revaluation gain of $2.2 million, which was recorded pursuant to our periodic "mark-to-market" revaluation of the underlying outstanding share purchase warrants. The revaluation gain is mainly explained by the decrease of the price of our common shares during the period. The remaining variance is explained by the exercise of some Series A Warrants in July 2017.
The increase in non-financial non-current liabilities from December 31, 2016 to December 31, 2017 is mainly due to the increase in the EUR/USD foreign exchange rate offset by a slight increase in the discount rate used to estimate our employee future benefits obligation.
The decrease in shareholders' (deficiency) equity as at December 31, 2017, as compared to December 31, 2016, is attributable primarily to the recording of a net loss for the twelve-month period, partially offset by the net proceeds generated by various issuances of common shares under our April 2016, March 2017 and April 2017 ATM Programs.

45




Outstanding Share Data
As at March 27, 2018 we had 16,440,760,Common Shares issued and outstanding, as well as 711,252 stock options outstanding. Share purchase warrants outstanding as at March 27, 2018 represented a total of 3,417,840 equivalent common shares.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
The IASB continues to issue new and revised IFRS. A listing of the recent accounting pronouncements promulgated by the IASB and not yet adopted by the Company is included in note 4 to the Company's December 31, 2017 consolidated financial statements which are included in Item 18 of this Annual Report on Form 20-F.
B.
Liquidity, Cash Flows and Capital Resources
Our operations and capital expenditures have been financed through certain transactions impacting our cash flows from operating activities, public equity offerings and issuances under various ATM programs.
At December 31, 2017, we had $7.8 million of cash and cash equivalents. We expect existing cash balances and operating cash flows (including the upfront cash payment of $24 million from Strongbridge discussed below) will provide us with adequate funds to support our current operating plan for at least twelve months after the date of the issuance of this Annual Report Form 20-F and for the foreseeable future.
Strongbridge License Agreement
On January 17, 2018, the Company received an upfront cash payment of $24,000,000 from Strongbridge, and, for as long as Macrilen™ (macimorelin) is patent-protected, the Company will be entitled to a 15% royalty on net sales up to $75,000,000 and an 18% royalty on net sales above $75,000,000. Following the end of patent protection in United States or Canada for Macrilen™ (macimorelin), the Company will be entitled to a 5% royalty on net sales in that country. In addition, the Company will also receive one-time payments from Strongbridge following the first achievement of the following commercial milestone events:
$4,000,000 on achieving $25,000,000 annual net sales,
$10,000,000 on achieving $50,000,000 annual net sales,
$20,000,000 on achieving $100,000,000 annual net sales,
$40,000,000 on achieving $200,000,000 annual net sales, and
$100,000,000 on achieving $500,000,000 annual net sales.
Upon approval by the FDA of a pediatric indication for Macrilen™ (macimorelin), the Company will receive a one-time milestone payment of $5,000,000 from Strongbridge.
Strongbridge will fund 70% of the costs of a worldwide pediatric development program to be run by the Company with customary oversight from a joint steering committee. The joint steering committee will be comprised of four persons, two of whom will be appointed by each of Strongbridge and the Company.
The Strongbridge License Agreement will expire at the end of a defined royalty period in each of the United States and Canada (the "Territory"), at which time the license that the Company granted to Strongbridge will become irrevocable, fully paid-up, perpetual and royalty-free in such country. Strongbridge has the right to terminate the Strongbridge License Agreement if there is a safety concern related to Macrilen™ (macimorelin), withdrawal of regulatory approval for Macrilen™ (macimorelin) in the U.S. believed to be permanent, two hundred and seventy (270) days' prior written notice, or if the Company commits a material breach of any term of the Strongbridge License Agreement that it fails to cure within 90 days after receiving written notice of the breach. The Company has the right to terminate the Strongbridge License Agreement if Strongbridge commits a material breach of any term of the Strongbridge License Agreement that it fails to cure within 90 days after receiving written notice of the breach. If the breach relates to Canada then the Company shall only have the right to terminate the Strongbridge License Agreement in relation to Canada. If the breach relates to the United States, then the Company shall have the right to terminate the Strongbridge License Agreement in its entirety.

46



The Strongbridge License Agreement contains customary provisions related to, among other things, confidentiality and non-disclosure, representations and warranties, indemnity and dispute resolution. The Strongbridge License Agreement is governed by the laws of the State of New York, United States.
Public Offerings
On April 1, 2016, we entered into an ATM sales agreement under which we are able, at our discretion and from time to time, to sell up to 3 million of our common shares through ATM issuances on the NASDAQ for aggregate gross proceeds of up to approximately $10 million (the "April 2016 ATM Program"). The ATM program provides that common shares are to be sold at market prices prevailing at the time of sale and, as a result, prices may vary. During the year ended December 31, 2016, the Company issued an additional 555,068 common shares under the April 2016 ATM Program at an average price of approximately $3.20 per share for gross proceeds of $1.8 million. The shelf registration statement pursuant to which this program was established expired on March 28, 2017.
On March 28, 2017, we commenced a new ATM offering pursuant to its existing ATM Sales Agreement, dated April 1, 2016, under which we were able, at our discretion, from time to time, to sell up to a maximum of 3 million common shares through ATM issuances on the NASDAQ, up to an aggregate amount of $9.0 million (the "March 2017 ATM Program"). The common shares were to be sold at market prices prevailing at the time of the sale of the common shares and, as a result, sale prices varied.
Between March 28, 2017 and April 18, 2017, we issued a total of 597,994 common shares under the March 2017 ATM Program at an average issuance price of $2.97 per share for aggregate gross proceeds of $1.8 million less cash transaction costs of $55,000 and previously deferred financing costs of $65,000.
On April 27, 2017, we entered into a new ATM Sales Agreement (the "New ATM Sales Agreement"), and filed with the SEC a prospectus supplement (the "Prospectus Supplement") related to sales and distributions of up to a maximum of 2,240,000 common shares through ATM issuances on the NASDAQ, up to an aggregate amount of $6.9 million under the New ATM Sales Agreement. The common shares will be sold at market prices prevailing at the time of the sale of the common shares and, as a result, prices may vary. The New ATM Sales Agreement and the Prospectus Supplement superseded and replaced the March 2017 ATM Program, which itself had superseded and replaced the April 2016 ATM Program. The Prospectus Supplement supplements the base prospectus included in our Shelf Registration Statement on Form F-3, as amended (the "2017 Shelf Registration Statement"), which was declared effective by the SEC on April 27, 2017. The 2017 Shelf Registration Statement allows us to offer up to $50 million of common shares and is effective for a three-year period. Between May 30, 2017 and December 31, 2017, we issued 1.8 million common shares at an average issuance price of $1.71 per share under the New ATM Sales Agreement.
On November 1, 2016, we completed a registered direct offering of 2,100,000 units (the "Units"), with each Unit consisting of one common share or one pre-funded warrant to purchase one common share and 0.45 of a warrant to purchase one common share (the "November 2016 Offering"). Total gross cash proceeds raised through the November 2016 Offering amounted to $7.6 million, less cash transaction costs of $1.0 million, including the placement agent's fee and expenses. The warrants are exercisable six months after their date of issuance and for a period of three years thereafter at an exercise price of $4.70 per share. The warrants contain a call provision which provides that, in the event our common shares trade at or above $10.00 on the principal trading market of our common shares during a specified measurement period and subject to a minimum volume of trading during such measurement period, then, subject to certain conditions, we have the right to call for cancellation all or any portion of the warrants which are not exercised by holders within 10 trading days following receipt of a call notice from us. Upon complete exercise for cash, these warrants would result in the issuance of an aggregate of 945,000 common shares that would generate additional proceeds of approximately $4.4 million, although these warrants may be exercised on a "net" or "cashless" basis.

47



The variations in our liquidity by activity are explained below.
(in thousands)
 
Three months ended December 31,
 
Years ended December 31,
 
 
2017
 
2016
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
 
$
 
$
 
$
 
$
 
$
Cash and cash equivalents - Beginning of period
 
12,173

 
21,052

 
21,999

 
41,450

 
34,931

Cash flows from operating activities:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net cash used in operating activities
 
(4,527
)
 
(8,131
)
 
(22,913
)
 
(29,010
)
 
(33,929
)
Cash provided by operating activities from discontinued operations
 

 

 

 

 
85

 
 
(4,527
)
 
(8,131
)
 
(22,913
)
 
(29,010
)
 
(33,844
)
Cash flows from financing activities:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net proceeds from issuance of common shares
 

 
9,361

 
8,030

 
9,924

 
49,427

Payment pursuant to warrant amendment agreements and Series B Warrants exercise inducement fee
 

 

 

 

 
(8,629
)
 
 

 
9,361

 
8,030

 
9,924

 
40,798

Cash flows from investing activities:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities
 
140

 
(9
)
 
307

 
(314
)
 
913

 
 
140

 
(9
)
 
307

 
(314
)
 
913

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents
 
(6
)
 
(274
)
 
357

 
(51
)
 
(1,348
)
Cash and cash equivalents - End of period
 
7,780

 
21,999

 
7,780

 
21,999

 
41,450

Operating Activities
2017 compared to 2016
Cash used in operating activities totaled $4.5 million and $22.9 million for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017, as compared to $8.1 million and $29.0 million for the same periods in 2016. The decrease in cash used in operating activities for the twelve months ended December 31, 2017, as compared to the same periods in 2016, is mainly due to lower operating expenses.
We expect net cash used in operating activities to range from $11.0 million to $12.0 million for the year ending December 31, 2018. We expect most of the expenses related to G&A to be for employee, insurance, rent, travel, and professional fees, such as legal, accounting and public company related expenses. The timing of the termination notices, that will be given to employees as part of the 2017 German Restructuring, will have an impact on the net cash used in operating activities. This guidance may vary significantly in future periods and it can also be significantly impacted by ongoing business development initiatives.
2016 compared to 2015
Cash used in operating activities totaled $29.0 million and $33.8 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively. The decrease in cash used in operating activities for the twelve months ended December 31, 2016, as compared to the same period in 2015, was mainly due to lower operating expenses.
Financing Activities
2017 compared to 2016
Cash flows from financing activities totaled $0.0 million and $8.0 million for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017, as compared to $9.4 million and $9.9 million for the same periods in 2016. The decrease is mainly due to higher net proceeds received from the November 2016 Offering.

48



2016 compared to 2015
Cash flows from financing activities totaled $9.9 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2016, as compared to $40.8 million for the same period in 2015. The decrease is mainly due to lower net proceeds received from the issuance of common shares and warrants in 2016 as compared to 2015.
Investing Activities
2017 compared to 2016
Cash (used in) provided by investing activities totaled $0.1 million and $0.3 million for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017, as compared to $0.0 million and $(0.3) million for the same periods in 2016.
2016 compared to 2015
Cash (used in) provided by investing activities totaled $(0.3) million and $0.9 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively. The decrease for the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2016, as compared to the same period in 2015, is due to proceeds received in connection with the disposal of equipment in connection with our Resource Optimization Program during the first quarter of 2015.

Critical Accounting Policies, Estimates and Judgments
Our consolidated financial statements as at December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016 and for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 have been prepared in accordance with IFRS as issued by the IASB.
The preparation of consolidated financial statements in accordance with IFRS requires management to make judgments, estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of our assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses and related disclosures. Judgments, estimates and assumptions are based on historical experience, expectations, current trends and other factors that management believes to be relevant when our consolidated financial statements are prepared.
Management reviews, on a regular basis, the Company's accounting policies, assumptions, estimates and judgments in order to ensure that the consolidated financial statements are presented fairly and in accordance with IFRS. Revisions to accounting estimates are recognized in the period in which the estimates are revised and in any future periods affected.
Critical accounting estimates and assumptions, as well as critical judgments used in applying accounting policies in the preparation of our interim condensed consolidated financial statements were the same as those that applied to our annual consolidated financial statements as of December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016 and for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015.

Capital Disclosures
Our objective in managing capital, consisting of shareholders' equity, with cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash equivalents being its primary components, is to ensure sufficient liquidity to fund R&D costs, selling expenses, G&A expenses, working capital and capital expenditures.
Over the past several years, we have increasingly raised capital via public equity offerings and drawdowns and issuances under various ATM sales programs as our primary source of liquidity.
Our capital management objective remains the same as that in previous periods. The policy on dividends is to retain cash to keep funds available to finance the activities required to advance our product development portfolio and to pursue appropriate commercial opportunities as they may arise. We are not subject to any capital requirements imposed by any regulators or by any other external source.

C.
Research and development, patents and licenses, etc.
For a description of our R&D policies for the last three years, see "Item 4.B. Business Overview" and "Key Developments" at the beginning of this Item 5. You can also find relevant information in our consolidated financial statements in Item 18 as well as the details of amounts spent during the last three years in the "Operating Results" section of this Item 5.

49



D.
Trend Information
Outlook for 2018
Product Development
Macrilen™ (macimorelin)
Macrilen™ (macimorelin), a ghrelin receptor agonist, is a novel orally-active small molecule that stimulates the secretion of growth hormone. Macrilen™ (macimorelin) has been granted orphan drug designation by the FDA for the evaluation of growth hormone deficiency. We own the worldwide rights to this novel patented compound. Macrilen™ (macimorelin) is our proposed trade name for macimorelin. The proposed trade name is subject to approval by the FDA. On September 25, 2017, the FDA rejected the Company's proposed trade name Macrilen™ (macimorelin) due to orthographic similarities and overlapping product characteristics. Subsequently, on October 11, 2017 the Company appealed the FDA's decision rejecting the proposed trade name Macrilen™ (macimorelin). On October 26, 2017, the FDA granted a user fee goal date of January 9, 2018 for the use of the proposed trade name, Macrilen™ (macimorelin). On November 15, 2017, the FDA concluded that the use of the proposed proprietary name, Macrilen™ (macimorelin), is conditionally acceptable. On December 16, 2016, we were advised by the EMA that Macrilen™ (macimorelin) was rejected as the proposed invented name for macimorelin because of its similarity to the names of other medicines. On March 8, 2018, we applied for two invented names for macimorelin: Macrilen ST and Macrilen GHST.
On January 16, 2018, through AEZS Germany, we entered into the Strongbridge License Agreement. We received an upfront cash payment of $24,000,000 from Strongbridge, and, for as long as Macrilen™ (macimorelin) is patent-protected, the Company will be entitled to a 15% royalty on net sales up to $75,000,000 and an 18% royalty on net sales above $75,000,000. Following the end of patent protection in United States or Canada for Macrilen™ (macimorelin), the Company will be entitled to a 5% royalty on net sales in that country. In addition, the Company will also receive one-time payments from Strongbridge following the first achievement of the following commercial milestone events:
$4,000,000 on achieving $25,000,000 annual net sales,
$10,000,000 on achieving $50,000,000 annual net sales,
$20,000,000 on achieving $100,000,000 annual net sales,
$40,000,000 on achieving $200,000,000 annual net sales, and
$100,000,000 on achieving $500,000,000 annual net sales.
Upon approval by the FDA of a pediatric indication for Macrilen™ (macimorelin), the Company will receive a one-time milestone payment of $5,000,000 from Strongbridge.
Strongbridge will fund 70% of the costs of a worldwide pediatric development program to be run by the Company with customary oversight from a joint steering committee. The joint steering committee will be comprised of four persons, two of whom will be appointed by each of Strongbridge and the Company.
The commercial success of Macrilen™ (macimorelin) will depend on several factors, including, but not limited to, the receipt of approvals from the EMA and similar foreign regulatory authorities; developing appropriate distribution and marketing infrastructure and arrangements for our product; launching and growing commercial sales of the product; and acceptance of the product in the medical community, among patients and with third party payers. We are not currently conducting any clinical studies.
We continue to explore various alternatives to monetize our rights to macimorelin in other countries around the globe.
We also continue to seek opportunities to in-license and acquire products. Our goal is to become a growth-oriented specialty biopharmaceutical company by pursuing successful development, commercialization and licensing of a 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.
Commercial Operations
Our commercial operations were significantly reduced in the fourth quarter of 2017. We eliminated our contract sales team in its entirety, as well as remaining sales management in November 2017, in accordance with the terms of our agreement with inVentiv Commercial Services, LLC, an affiliate of inVentiv Health, Inc. ("inVentiv"), a contract-sales organization. Our agreement with inVentiv commenced in November 2014.

50



Pursuant to termination of the inVentiv agreement, we ended our co-promotion with EMD Serono and Armune.

Summary of key expectations for revenues, operating expenditures and cash flows
The following represents forward-looking information and users are cautioned that actual results may vary.
Excluding the impact of future foreign exchange rate fluctuations, we expect that we will incur R&D costs of between $1.0 million and $2.0 million for the year ending December 31, 2018. We expect most of the expenses related to R&D to be for employee, commercial service, patent and consultant costs related to the Macrilen™ (macimorelin) PIP study (which Strongbridge will fund 70%).
Based on currently available information, we expect selling expenses to range between $0.2 million and $0.5 million during the year ending December 31, 2018. We expect most of the expenses related to selling to be for website, branding and marketing.
Excluding the impact of foreign exchange rate fluctuations, we expect G&A expenses to range b