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MEDICIS PHARMACEUTICAL LICENSES BREAKTHROUGH DRUG FOR ALOPECIA AREATA

MEDICIS PHARMACEUTICAL LICENSES BREAKTHROUGH DRUG FOR ALOPECIA AREATA
 NEW YORK, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation (NASDAQ: MDRXA, MDRXL, MDRXZ) announced today it has obtained an exclusive worldwide license for an highly effective treatment of alopecia areata, a condition affecting over 1 percent of Americans (2.6 million persons), which results in partial or total loss of hair. Presently, there are no drugs which satisfactorily treat this condition.
 According to Dr. Vera Price, chairman of the board of directors and medical advisory board of the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. "The Medicis drug will be favorably received by dermatologists because we have not had a compound available for patients who suffer from alopecia areata. I am very excited about this new development."
 The Medicis product, called diphencyprone, has been studied in Germany and Canada where its use resulted in hair growth in up to 85 percent of patients. Medicis expects to initiate clinical trials on the compound in the United States later this year. Diphencyprone is applied topically to the scalp and other affected areas of the body.
 Alopecia areata occurs in persons of all ages, sexes and races, but seems to strike hardest at the young. The disease often results in disfiguring hair loss. Alopecia areata is believed to be an autoimmune disorder where the body produces antibodies against a portion of the follicle responsible for hair growth.
 Current treatment involves injection of steroids directly into the scalp and skin. This procedure is painful and is of extremely limited efficacy, particularly in cases of substantial hair loss.
 According to Jonah Shacknai, Medicis chairman and CEO, "The company is pleased to offer a potential breakthrough therapy for alopecia areata. We believe this often disfiguring disease may soon be treated successfully, resulting in tremendous benefit to millions of patients worldwide. Diphencyprone nicely complements our research and development pipeline further solidifying Medicis' commitment to the Science of Dermatology(R)."
 Diphencyprone is the subject of issued patents in the U.S., Europe, Canada, and South Africa.
 Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation is a research based concern specializing in products treating various dermatological conditions. The company currently markets 11 brands nationally and has several important new products in late stage development.
 -0- 2/12/92
 /CONTACT: Kimberly Minarovich of Medicis Pharmaceutical, 212-599-2000/
 (MDRXA) CO: Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation ST: New York IN: MTC SU:


SH-KW -- NY043 -- 9269 02/12/92 13:06 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 12, 1992
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