Medicis and Hyperion Therapeutics Announce Stragtegic Collaboration

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Hyperion to Develop and Promote Ucyclyd’s Portfolio of Projects

Hyperion to Develop and Promote Ucyclyd’s Portfolio of Projects


SCOTTSDALE, Arizona and SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, California - August 28, 2007

Medicis (NYSE:MRX) and Hyperion Therapeutics, Inc. (“Hyperion”) today announced a strategic collaboration between Hyperion and Medicis’ subsidiary, Ucyclyd Pharma, Inc. (“Ucyclyd”), pursuant to which Hyperion will be responsible for the ongoing research and development of a compound referred to as “GT4P” for the treatment of Urea Cycle Disorder (“UCD”), Hepatic Encephalopathies (“HE”) and other indications, and additional indications for AMMONUL® (sodium phenylacetate/sodium benzoate) (collectively, the “Research Projects”).


UCD is an inherited, inborn error of metabolism. Patients with UCD lack one of the key enzymes that comprise the urea cycle, which can result in the life-threatening condition of hyperammonemia, i.e., dangerously heightened levels of ammonia in the bloodstream. HE results from a complication of liver failure. Patients with HE experience an accumulation of toxic substances in the bloodstream typically removed by the liver, impairing the function of brain cells to the point of coma or death in severe cases. Hyperion also will co-promote Ucyclyd’s existing on-market products, AMMONUL® and BUPHENYL®, for the treatment of UCD. 


Terms of the Agreement 

Under the terms of the agreement, Hyperion has paid Ucyclyd $10 million for the rights and licenses granted to Hyperion in the agreement. If certain specified conditions are satisfied relating to the Research Projects (e.g., regulatory approval of GT4P for UCD), then Hyperion will have certain purchase rights with respect to the Ucyclyd development products as well as Ucyclyd’s existing on-market products, AMMONUL® and BUPHENYL®, and will pay Ucyclyd royalties and regulatory and sales milestone payments in connection with certain licenses that would be granted to Hyperion upon exercise of the buyout.


Additionally, Hyperion will be funding all research and development costs for the Research Projects, and will undertake certain sales and marketing efforts for Ucyclyd’s existing on-market products. Hyperion will receive a commission from Ucyclyd equal to a certain percentage of any increase in unit sales. Ucyclyd will continue to record product sales for the existing on-market Ucyclyd products until such time as the buyout occurs.


“We are very excited about this collaboration with Ucyclyd and Medicis,” said Chris Rivera, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hyperion. “It is a great opportunity and responsibility to continue the important work that Ucyclyd has accomplished, and I am pleased with the extremely talented team of seasoned industry veterans that have joined us to help make this a success. Our focus will be to increase the diagnosis, awareness and treatment of patients with UCD with these life-saving drugs, as well as to push the development programs forward for the benefit of patients with UCD and HE.”


“We are pleased to be collaborating with Hyperion,” said Jonah Shacknai, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Medicis. “Despite operating outside our primary focus of dermatological and aesthetic conditions, the Ucyclyd drugs have always been highly regarded at Medicis and Ucyclyd because of their critical role for UCD patients. We know the talented Hyperion team will be dedicated to the ongoing development of the Research Projects, and we are confident of this team’s expertise in such an endeavor. Additionally, we are grateful for Hyperion’s commitment to continue development of these important, life-saving products.”


Products and Projects

Hyperion will be responsible for the research and development efforts of GT4P for use in the treatments of UCD and HE, and AMMONUL® for use in the treatment of HE. GT4P currently is not approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). FDA-approved AMMONUL® is an orphan drug indicated as an adjunctive therapy for the treatment of acute hyperammonemia and associated encephalopathy in patients with deficiencies in enzymes of the urea cycle. AMMONUL® works by scavenging ammonia directly from the bloodstream, independent of the defective urea cycle. BUPHENYL®, another Ucyclyd prescription product indicated for UCD which Hyperion will now promote, is the only FDA-approved drug for maintenance treatment of UCD patients in the U.S. BUPHENYL® tablets and powder are used as adjunctive therapy for daily, life-long maintenance in UCD patients and work much the same as AMMONUL® by scavenging ammonia from the bloodstream.


As part of the strategic collaboration, the parties may consider seeking regulatory approvals for the Ucyclyd products in other indications as well as other countries or territories. Hyperion will bear the costs associated with obtaining any such approvals. Currently, AMMONUL® is not approved for use outside the U.S. BUPHENYL® is available for the treatment of UCD in Korea and in Europe under the brand name AMMONAPS®.


At this time, the ordering process for AMMONUL® and BUPHENYL® remains the same.


UBS Investment Bank acted as financial advisor to Medicis in connection with the transaction.


About Hyperion

Hyperion Therapeutics is a specialty therapeutics company focused on gastrointestinal (GI) and hepatology therapeutic programs and products that address underserved patient populations or unmet medical needs to improve patient care. The company has assembled a seasoned executive team that has extensive industry experience developing and commercializing specialty pharmaceutical products. Hyperion is backed by Sofinnova Ventures, NEA, Highland Capital Partners and WRF Capital. For more information, visit


About Medicis and Ucyclyd

Medicis is the leading independent specialty pharmaceutical company in the United States focusing primarily on the treatment of dermatological and aesthetic conditions. The Company is dedicated to helping patients attain a healthy and youthful appearance and self-image. Medicis has leading branded prescription products in a number of therapeutic and aesthetic categories. The Company's products have earned wide acceptance by both physicians and patients due to their clinical effectiveness, high quality and cosmetic elegance.


The Company's products include the prescription brands RESTYLANE® (hyaluronic acid), PERLANE® (hyaluronic acid), DYNACIN® (minocycline HCl), LOPROX® (ciclopirox), OMNICEF® (cefdinir), PLEXION® (sodium sulfacetamide/sulfur), SOLODYN® (minocycline HCl, USP) Extended Release Tablets, TRIAZ® (benzoyl peroxide), LIDEX® (fluocinonide) Cream, 0.05%, VANOS® (fluocinonide) Cream, 0.1%, SYNALAR® (fluocinolone acetonide), and ZIANATM (clindamycin phosphate 1.2% and tretinoin 0.025%) Gel, and the over-the-counter brand ESOTERICA®. Ucyclyd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Medicis. Ucyclyd’s products include BUPHENYL® (sodium phenylbutyrate) and AMMONUL® (sodium phenylacetate/sodium benzoate), prescription products indicated in the treatment of Urea Cycle Disorder. For more information about Medicis, please visit the Company's website at


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