Cipher achieves major milestone with FDA approval for CIP-TRAMADOL ER

Toronto Stock Exchange Symbol: DND

MISSISSAUGA, ON, May 10 /CNW/ - Cipher Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX: DND) today announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") has approved CIP-TRAMADOL ER, the Company's extended-release tramadol product, for the treatment of moderate to moderately severe chronic pain in adults.

"This represents our second FDA approval - a major achievement for the Company that reflects a significant amount of effort and dedication from our team, led by Dr. Jason Gross," said Larry Andrews, President and CEO of Cipher. "We are excited about the opportunity for CIP-TRAMADOL ER in the large and growing U.S. pain market. There were more than 28 million tramadol prescriptions written in 2009, only 5% of which were for once-daily formulations, indicating there is a substantial opportunity for a new entrant. We believe our product's unique capsule formulation comprising an immediate-release tablet and sustained-release beads, combined with having no food effect, will make it an attractive alternative for clinicians and chronic pain sufferers."

Cipher is currently preparing for the U.S. commercial launch of the product, which includes securing a marketing partner and finalizing commercial manufacturing requirements. The actual timing of the launch will also be influenced by the outcome of the appeal filed by Purdue Pharma Products L.P. against Par Pharmaceutical, Inc., which relates to the Orange Book-listed patents for Ultram(R) ER, the reference product in Cipher's New Drug Application. A decision in that case is not expected until late 2010.

About Cipher Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Cipher Pharmaceuticals is a commercial-stage drug development company focused on commercializing novel formulations of successful, currently marketed molecules using advanced drug delivery technologies. Cipher's strategy is to in-license products that incorporate proven drug delivery technologies and advance them through the clinical development and regulatory approval stages, after which the products are out-licensed to international partners. Because Cipher's products are based on proven technology platforms applied to currently marketed drugs, they are expected to have lower approval risk, shorter development timelines and significantly lower development costs. The Company's lead compound is being marketed in the United States by Kowa Pharmaceuticals America under the label Lipofen(R). In addition, Cipher is developing formulations of the pain reliever tramadol (FDA approval in May 2010) and the acne treatment isotretinoin (FDA approvable letter in April 2007).

Cipher is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol 'DND' and has approximately 24 million shares outstanding. For more information, please visit www.cipherpharma.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements made in this news release, other than those concerning historical financial information, may be forward-looking and therefore subject to various risks and uncertainties. Some forward-looking statements may be identified by words like "may", "will", "anticipate", "estimate", "expect", "intend", or "continue" or the negative thereof or similar variations. 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 and other filings with Canadian securities regulatory authorities, such as the applicability of patents and proprietary technology; possible patent litigation; regulatory approval of products in the Company's pipeline; changes in government regulation or regulatory approval processes; government and third-party payer reimbursement; dependence on strategic partnerships for product candidates and technologies, marketing and R&D services; meeting projected drug development timelines and goals; intensifying competition; rapid technological change in the pharmaceutical industry; anticipated future losses; the ability to access capital to fund R&D; and the ability to attract and retain key personnel. All forward-looking statements presented herein should be considered in conjunction with such filings. Except as required by Canadian securities laws, the Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements; such statements speak only as of the date made.

For further information: Craig Armitage, Investor Relations, The Equicom Group, (416) 815-0700 ext 278, (416) 815-0080 fax, carmitage@equicomgroup.com; Larry Andrews, President and CEO, Cipher Pharmaceuticals, (905) 602-5840 ext 324, (905) 602-0628 fax, landrews@cipherpharma.com