* Phase 3 trial multiple myeloma set to begin

* U.S. FDA announced similar approval last year

TORONTO, March 1 - Canadian cancer drugmaker Aeterna Zentaris Inc (AEZ.TO) said on Monday that European health regulators granted its perifosine blood cancer treatment orphan drug status, marking the second such designation for the drug.

Last year, the drug received a similar designation from the U.S. FDA, which is reserved for new treatments that are being developed to treat diseases or conditions that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the United States, and which grants the drug developers seven years of market exclusivity.

Perifosine is currently in Phase 2 mid-stage clinical development for multiple tumor types, and a Phase 3 late-stage trial for multiple myeloma is set to begin.

Aeterna is developing the drug with partner and licensee Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (KERX.O) in the United States, Canada and Mexico. ($1=$1.05 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson, editing by Dave Zimmerman)