Cipher Pharma Acquires Worldwide Rights To Dalhousie University's Investigational Tattoo Removal Cream

Product candidate may have the potential to transform tattoo removal process

MISSISSAUGA, ON, May 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Cipher Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:CPHR; TSX:CPH) ("Cipher" or "the Company") today announced it has licensed the worldwide rights to develop and commercialize an investigational tattoo removal cream being developed at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia by Alec Falkenham, a PhD student in the Department of Pathology at Dalhousie University. The product candidate, which is applied topically, has shown encouraging results in pre-clinical testing for the removal or reduction of the appearance of tattoos.

"This technology has the potential to transform the process of tattoo removal and may give people the option of a topical cream instead of laser treatments, which are painful, costly and time-consuming," said Shawn O'Brien, President and CEO of Cipher. "As we continue to build our pipeline, we will complement our predominantly late-stage assets with investments in select early-stage product candidates that we believe have high potential and can be commercialized efficiently."

The agreement was fostered through Dalhousie's Industry Liaison and Innovation office.

"We are very pleased to have Cipher Pharmaceuticals partner with Dalhousie University on this innovation," says Dr. Martha Crago, Vice-President Research at Dalhousie University. "It is important for Dalhousie to partner with a company that has the experience and expertise to bring an innovation like this to market. We are also extremely proud of the hard work and research of Dalhousie student, Alec Falkenham. This is an exciting moment for him and for the university."

"I am very pleased and excited that Cipher Pharmaceuticals may eventually be able to bring this technology to the marketplace," says Alec Falkenham. "To see something that started out with me thinking about the tattoo process from an immune point of view at the university, to the development of a cream that could make a difference for people who want an alternative process for tattoo removal, is very exciting."

Falkenham explains the basis of the technology, "When a person gets a tattoo, the pigment from the ink deposits into the skin where it's then consumed by white blood cells called macrophages. These cells gather at the site of the tattoo, engulfing the pigment and creating the permanent tattoo. When the liposome cream is applied to the tattoo, it penetrates the skin and destroys macrophages containing tattoo pigment, resulting in a fading tattoo."

According to a poll conducted by Harris Interactive, one in eight American adults who have tattoos regret getting one.1 Cipher Pharmaceuticals believes the tattoo removal cream could be used as a replacement for laser tattoo removal or as adjunct therapy to reduce the frequency and cost of the laser removal process. Should the product be commercialized, Cipher expects it to be a prescription medication available through physicians, principally dermatologists.

About Cipher Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Cipher Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CPHR; TSX:CPH) is a rapidly growing specialty pharmaceutical dermatology company with a diversified portfolio of commercial-stage products with the goal of becoming the most customer-centric dermatology company in North America.

Cipher completed seven transactions in 2015, including the acquisition of Innocutis and its nine branded dermatology products, to build its U.S. commercial presence, expand its Canadian dermatology franchise and broaden its pipeline. Cipher is well-capitalized to drive long-term, sustained earnings growth by leveraging its proven clinical development capabilities and efficient commercial execution. For more information, visit

About Dalhousie University

Dalhousie University is Atlantic Canada's leading research-intensive university and a driver of the region's intellectual, social and economic development.  Located in the province of Nova Scotia, Dalhousie's 18,500 students and 6,000 faculty and staff foster a vibrant, purpose-driven community.  Across 12 faculties, Dalhousie students and researchers conduct more than $140 million in funded research and benefit from over 200 partnership agreements in 63 countries.  Through learning and discovery, Dalhousie is united in its quest to make a lasting impact on our world.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements made in this news release may be forward-looking and therefore subject to various risks and uncertainties. The words "may", "will", "could", "should", "would", "suspect", "outlook", "believe", "plan", "anticipate", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "forecast", "objective", "hope" and "continue" (or the negative thereof), and words and expressions of similar import, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Certain material factors or assumptions are applied in making forward-looking statements and actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. Factors that could cause results to vary include those identified in the Company's Annual Information Form, Form 40-F and other filings with Canadian and U.S. securities regulatory authorities. These factors include, but are not limited to, our ability to enter into in-licensing, development, manufacturing and marketing and distribution agreements with other pharmaceutical companies and keep such agreements in effect; our dependency on a limited number of products; integration difficulties and other risks if we acquire or in-license technologies or product candidates; reliance on third parties for the marketing of certain products; the product approval process is highly unpredictable; the timing of completion of clinical trials; reliance on third parties to manufacture our products; we may be subject to product liability claims; unexpected product safety or efficacy concerns may arise; we generate license revenue from a limited number of distribution and supply agreements; the pharmaceutical industry is highly competitive; requirements for additional capital to fund future operations; dependence on key managerial personnel and external collaborators; no assurance that we will receive regulatory approvals in the U.S., Canada or any other jurisdictions; certain of our products are subject to regulation as controlled substances; limitations on reimbursement in the healthcare industry; limited reimbursement for products by government authorities and third-party payor policies; various laws pertaining to health care fraud and abuse; reliance on the success of strategic investments and partnerships; the publication of negative results of clinical trials; unpredictable development goals and projected time frames; rising insurance costs; ability to enforce covenants not to compete; risks associated with the industry in which it operates; we may be unsuccessful in evaluating material risks involved in completed and future acquisitions; we may be unable to identify, acquire or integrate acquisition targets successfully; operations in the U.S.; inability to meet covenants under our credit facilities; compliance with privacy and security regulation; our policies regarding returns, allowances and chargebacks may reduce revenues; certain regulations could restrict our activities; additional regulatory burden and controls over financial reporting; reliance on third parties to perform certain services; general commercial litigation, class actions, other litigation claims and regulatory actions; being a foreign private issuer may limit the information available to U.S. shareholders; we may lose our foreign private issuer status which could result in significant additional costs; the potential violation of intellectual property rights of third parties; our efforts to obtain, protect or enforce our patents and other intellectual property rights related to our products; changes in U.S., Canadian or foreign patent laws; litigation in the pharmaceutical industry concerning the manufacture and supply of novel and generic versions of existing drugs; inability to protect our trademarks from infringement; shareholders may be further diluted; volatility of our share price; a significant shareholder; we do not currently intend to pay dividends; our operating results may fluctuate significantly; and our debt obligations will have priority over the Common Shares in the event of a liquidation, dissolution or winding up. All forward-looking statements presented herein should be considered in conjunction with such filings. Except as required by Canadian or U.S. securities laws, the Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements; such statements speak only as of the date made.

1 Harris Interactive poll from January 2012

SOURCE Cipher Pharmaceuticals Inc.

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