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Cipher Pharmaceuticals Appoints Robert D. Tessarolo as CEO

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO, March 20, 2017 – Cipher Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX:CPH) (“Cipher” or “the Company”) announced today that veteran pharmaceutical industry executive Robert D. Tessarolo has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Cipher, effective April 17, 2017.  Mr. Tessarolo will also be nominated for election as a director at the Company’s next annual general meeting in May 2017. 

Mr. Tessarolo has 22 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry spanning business strategy, general management and commercial operations roles across multiple countries and therapeutic areas. He has demonstrated expertise in leading pharmaceutical organizations through start-up opportunities and turnaround challenges and delivering rapid growth, expansion and value creation.

Mr. Tessarolo most recently held the position of Vice President & General Manager with Celgene Corporation, where he was responsible for leading their U.S. Inflammation & Immunology business. He contributed to the substantial expansion of the U.S. business in 2016, which was led by the rapid growth of Otezla for plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Prior to Celgene, Mr. Tessarolo led the launch of Actavis, plc’s Canadian Specialty Pharmaceutical Division and served as President and General Manager.  Under his leadership, Mr. Tessarolo established a Canadian business of over 140 employees and $190 million in revenues, leading his team through several new product launches and the successful integration of multiple company acquisitions, including Warner Chilcott, Forest Labs and Allergan. Prior to joining Actavis, Mr. Tessarolo held a number of positions of increasing responsibility with Biovail Pharmaceuticals Canada, culminating in his appointment to the position of Vice President and General Manager.  Mr. Tessarolo had direct oversight and accountability for country strategy, operations, business development and financial responsibilities for each of the Canadian entities he has led. 

“We are very pleased that Rob has decided to join Cipher,” said Dr. John Mull, Chair of Cipher. “We are confident that Rob’s proven track record and leadership qualities, combined with his extensive commercial and operational expertise, make him the right person to lead Cipher in its next stage of growth.  I would also like to thank Stephen Lemieux for successfully leading the Company through the transition period.  Stephen will continue in his role as CFO and Secretary of Cipher when Rob joins the team in April.”

“I am thrilled to join Cipher at this exciting time,” said Mr. Tessarolo. “Building on a very strong foundation, the company is highly focused on driving growth and increasing shareholder value. I look forward to working with the team at Cipher to deliver on these expectations.”

Mr. Tessarolo serves on the Board of Directors of Bradmer Pharmaceuticals. He is a graduate of Carleton University with a B.A. in Economics and has attended the Advanced Management Program for General Management at Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. 

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 and the U.S. or indirectly through partners in Canada, the U.S., and South America. 

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For more information, please contact:

Craig Armitage
LodeRock Advisors
(416) 347-8954