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 www.cipherpharma.com.
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.
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1 Harris Interactive poll from January 2012
SOURCE Cipher Pharmaceuticals Inc.