Cipher Pharmaceuticals Acquires Exclusive Canadian Rights to U.S. FDA-Approved A-101 40% Topical Solution from Aclaris Therapeutics

MISSISSAUGA, ON, April 6, 2018 /CNW/ - Cipher Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX:CPH) ("Cipher" or "the Company") today announced it has acquired from Aclaris Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACRS) ("Aclaris") the exclusive Canadian rights to distribute and commercialize A-101 40% topical solution ("A-101 40%"). A-101 40% is an FDA-approved product indicated for the treatment of raised seborrheic keratoses (SKs), which are commonly occurring non-cancerous skin growths that affect more than 9 million Canadian adults and can be an aesthetic skin concern. A-101 40% was approved by the FDA in December 2017 and is marketed by Aclaris in the U.S. under the tradename Eskata™.

A-101 40% is a proprietary, high-concentration hydrogen peroxide-based topical solution designed for in-office application by a healthcare provider. It is a targeted treatment applied directly to the raised SK using a pen-like applicator. The most commonly used approaches for SKs are surgical procedures such as cryosurgery, which can cause discomfort, cosmetic imperfections, and require wound management.

"Upon approval, we look forward to offering A-101 40% to dermatologists and their patients as a treatment that can clear raised SKs without cutting, burning or freezing the skin," said Robert Tessarolo, President and CEO of Cipher. "This transaction, our fourth in 2018, delivers on our commitment to bringing innovative therapies to market that address significant unmet needs. The addition of A-101 40% will further leverage our commercial organization and build upon the strong presence Cipher enjoys in the Canadian dermatology market and presents an attractive long-term growth opportunity. We are targeting a New Drug Submission to Health Canada later this year."

Neal Walker, CEO of Aclaris Therapeutics commented: "This agreement marks an important milestone for Aclaris as our first entry into the international dermatology market. Cipher has a strong presence within the Canadian dermatology market and we are excited to be working with them to expand the availability of A-101 40% in Canada."

Under the terms of the licensing agreement, Aclaris will receive an upfront payment of US$1.0 million and, upon achievement of certain milestone events, additional regulatory and commercial milestone payments, as well as royalties from product sales in Canada.

About Seborrheic Keratoses
Seborrheic keratoses (SKs) are non-cancerous skin growths that affect an estimated 20% of the population and are most commonly seen in middle-aged and older adults. SKs vary in color from flesh-colored to pink, yellow, gray, tan, brown, or black; can range in size from a millimeter to a few centimeters wide; and typically have a slightly elevated, waxy or scaly appearance. The number and size of SKs tends to increase with advancing age. SKs frequently appear in highly visible locations, such as the face or neck, but can also appear anywhere on the body, except the palms, soles and mucous membranes.

About A-101 40% for the treatment of raised SKs
A-101 40%, marketed under the trademark ESKATA by Aclaris in the U.S., is the first and only FDA-approved medication for the treatment of raised seborrheic keratoses (SKs). Aclaris has submitted a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for ESKATA in select countries in the European Union.

About Aclaris Therapeutics, Inc.
Aclaris Therapeutics, Inc. is a dermatologist-led biopharmaceutical company committed to identifying, developing and commercializing innovative therapies to address significant unmet needs in dermatology, both aesthetic and medical, and immunology. Aclaris' focus on market segments with no FDA-approved medications or where treatment gaps exist has resulted in the first FDA-approved treatment for the raised seborrheic keratoses and several clinical programs to develop medications for the potential treatment of common warts, alopecia areata, and vitiligo. For additional information, please visit www.aclaristx.com and follow Aclaris on LinkedIn.

About Cipher Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Cipher (TSX:CPH) is a specialty pharmaceutical company with a robust and diversified portfolio of commercial and early to late-stage products. Cipher acquires products that fulfill unmet medical needs, manages the required clinical development and regulatory approval process, and markets those products either directly in Canada or indirectly through partners in Canada, the U.S., and South America. Cipher is focused on a three-pronged growth strategy - including acquisitions, in-licensing, and selective investments in drug development - to assemble a broad portfolio of prescription products that serve unmet medical needs. For more information, visit www.cipherpharma.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This document includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of certain securities laws, including the "safe harbour" provisions of the Securities Act (Ontario) and other provincial securities law in Canada and U.S. securities laws. These forward-looking statements include, among others, statements with respect to our objectives, goals and strategies to achieve those objectives and goals, as well as statements with respect to our beliefs, plans, expectations, anticipations, estimates and intentions. 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.

By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, which give rise to the possibility that predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements will not be achieved. 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. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on these statements as a number of important factors, many of which are beyond our control, could cause our actual results to differ materially from the beliefs, plans, objectives, expectations, anticipations, estimates and intentions expressed in such forward-looking statements. 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 and events outside of our control that could adversely impact the ability of our manufacturing partners to supply products to meet our demands; we may be subject to future 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; current uncertainty surrounding health care regulation in the United States; 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; inability to meet covenants under our long term debt arrangement; compliance with privacy and security regulation; our policies regarding returns, allowances and chargebacks may reduce revenues; certain current and future 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; the effects of our delisting from the NASDAQ Global Market (the "NASDAQ") and deregistration of our Common Shares under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "U.S. Exchange Act"); the difficulty for shareholders to realize in the United States upon judgments of U.S. courts predicated upon civil liability of the Company and its directors and officers who are not residents of the United States; certain adverse tax rules applicable to U.S. holders of our Common Shares if we are a passive foreign investment company for U.S. federal income tax purposes; 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 if we issue securities to raise capital; volatility of our share price; the actions of 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.

We caution that the foregoing list of important factors that may affect future results is not exhaustive. When reviewing our forward-looking statements, investors and others should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and potential events. Additional information about factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from expectations, and about material factors or assumptions applied in making forward-looking statements, may be found in the "Risk Factors" section of this AIF and in our Management's Discussion and Analysis of Operating Results and Financial Position for the year ended December 31, 2017, and elsewhere in our filings with Canadian securities regulators. Except as required by Canadian securities law, we do not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time by us or on our behalf; such statements speak only as of the date made. The forward-looking statements included herein are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary language.

 

Craig Armitage, LodeRock Advisors, (416) 347-8954, craig.armitage@loderockadvisors.com

SOURCE Cipher Pharmaceuticals Inc.

     
 
Company Codes: OtherOTC:CPHRF, Toronto:CPH
 

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