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Synergy Pharmaceuticals Presents Plecanatide Results From a Large Multicenter Clinical Study at Late-Breaking Abstract Session

Synergy Pharmaceuticals Presents Plecanatide Results From a Large Multicenter
Clinical Study at Late-Breaking Abstract Session During Digestive Disease Week
2013

NEW YORK, May 21, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc.
(Nasdaq:SGYP), a developer of new drugs to treat patients with
gastrointestinal disorders and diseases, today presented positive safety and
efficacy results from its large multicenter trial of plecanatide in patients
with chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) in
Orlando, FL.

The data were presented at the Late-Breaking Abstract Session of the American
Gastroenterological Association (AGA) by lead author Dr. Philip B. Miner,
President and Medical Director of the Oklahoma Foundation for Digestive
Research.

Plecanatide, Synergy's investigational drug for the treatment of CIC and
irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C), is a guanylate cyclase-C
(GC-C) agonist. This novel drug mimics the function of the natural human
peptide hormone, uroguanylin.

The clinical trial was designed to evaluate whether plecanatide could increase
the number of complete spontaneous bowel movements (CSBMs), as well as benefit
other bowel measures associated with the constipated state such as stool
consistency and straining, along with general quality of life, in people with
CIC. In the study, 951 patients with CIC were randomized to four study arms to
determine the efficacy and safety of three oral doses of plecanatide (0.3,
1.0, or 3.0 mg, daily), compared to placebo, over the course of a 12-week
dosing regimen.

"All three doses of plecanatide demonstrated statistically significant
improvement in the number of complete, spontaneous bowel movements experienced
by study participants who responded to treatment," said Dr. Miner. "In
addition to increased frequency of CSBMs, participants reported improvements
in other symptoms of chronic constipation, including decreased stool hardness
and straining. All doses of plecanatide appeared to be safe and well
tolerated, and safety data were consistent with Synergy's previous Phase I and
IIa trials of plecanatide."

"We are very pleased to share these compelling new data at DDW supporting the
efficacy and safety of plecanatide as a potential new treatment for patients
suffering with CIC," said Dr. Gary S. Jacob, President and CEO of Synergy. "We
are moving full-speed ahead with development of plecanatide to treat CIC, and
plan to initiate pivotal trials in the second half of 2013. In addition, we
presently have a Phase 2b trial of plecanatide in IBS-C patients underway and
expect to release top-line data in 1Q2014."

Key clinical findings presented at DDW:

Efficacy

Increasing efficacy was observed at increasing dose levels of plecanatide. The
greatest improvement in CSBM was observed at the 3 mg plecanatide dose.Other
efficacy results include:

  *Over the course of the 12-week study, 19% of participants treated daily
    with 3 mg plecanatide were durable* responders (vs. 10.7% for placebo;
    p<0.01).
  *More than half of patients dosed at 3 mg plecanatide treatment experienced
    an increase of at least one CSBM per week relative to baseline (52.3% vs.
    36.8% for placebo; p<0.001).
  *Participants achieved their first spontaneous bowel movement after
    ingestion of 3 mg plecanatide in less than half the time of those taking
    placebo (median time of 12.5 hours plecanatide vs. 27.3 for placebo;
    p<0.001).
  *Statistically significant improvements in other key secondary endpoints
    were also observed, including stool consistency and straining (3 mg
    plecanatide vs. placebo; p<0.001).
  *Responders to treatment reported statistically significant improvements in
    constipation-associated symptoms and quality of life relative to baseline
    (3 mg plecanatide vs. placebo; p<0.001).

Safety

In this large multicenter trial, all doses of plecanatide studied appeared to
be safe and well tolerated. There were no serious adverse events attributed to
study treatment. The most common adverse event reported was diarrhea (9.7% at
3 mg plecanatide vs. 1.3% placebo).Notably, study withdrawal due to diarrhea
was infrequent (3% at 3 mg plecanatide vs. 0.4% for placebo). All but one case
of diarrhea was mild or moderate in severity.

Late-Breaking Abstract Session Citation

Abstract # 925g: Plecanatide, a Novel Guanylate-Cyclase C (GC-C) Receptor
Agonist, is Efficacious and Safe in Patients with Chronic Idiopathic
Constipation (CIC): Results from a 951 Patient, 12 Week, Multi-Center Trial.
Miner, Philip B.^1; Surowitz, Ron^2; Fogel, Ron^3; Koltun, William^4;
Drossman, Douglas A.^5; Camilleri, Michael^6; Mangel, Allen^7; Barrow,
Laura^8; Jacob, Gary S.^8; Shailubhai, Kunwar^8.

^1Oklahoma Foundation for Digestive Research, Oklahoma City, OK. ^2Health
Awareness Inc., Jupiter, FL. ^3Clinical Research Institute of Michigan,
Chesterfield, MI. ^4Medical Center for Clinical Research, San Diego, CA.
^5School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. ^6Mayo
Clinic, Rochester, MN. ^7RTI, Research Triangle Park, NC. ^8Synergy
Pharmaceuticals, New York, NY.

(ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01429987)

*Durable responder is defined as: a responder in at least 9 of 12 weeks of
study, and a responder in at least 3 of the last 4 weeks of treatment.

About Digestive Disease Week

Digestive Disease Week^® (DDW^®) is the largest international gathering of
physicians, researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology,
hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery. Jointly sponsored by the
American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), the American
Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute, the American Society for
Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and the Society for Surgery of the
Alimentary Tract (SSAT), DDW takes place May 18 – 21, 2013, at the Orange
County Convention Center, FL. The meeting showcases more than 5,000 abstracts
and hundreds of lectures on the latest advances in GI research, medicine and
technology. More information can be found at www.ddw.org.

About Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Synergy is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of new drugs
to treat patients with gastrointestinal disorders and diseases. Synergy's lead
proprietary drug candidate, plecanatide, is a synthetic analog of the natural
human peptide hormone, uroguanylin, and functions by activating the guanylate
cyclase-C (GC-C) receptor on epithelial cells of the GI tract. Synergy
completed positive Phase I and Phase II clinical trials in patients with
chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). Detailed positive findings from its
large multicenter trial of plecanatide in patients with CIC are being
presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) in Orlando, FL and will be published
this year. Synergy is also developing plecanatide for the treatment of
irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C), having initiated the first
trial in IBS-C patients in late 2012. Synergy's second GC-C agonist, SP-333,
is in clinical development for the treatment of ulcerative colitis (UC). The
first Phase I trial in healthy volunteers was recently completed. More
information is available at http://www.synergypharma.com

About Chronic Constipation

Chronic constipation is the most common digestive complaint in the United
States and the world. About 15%, or 45 million people, suffer from chronic
constipation in the U.S., with a similar prevalence in other developed
countries. Although chronic constipation affects both men and women of every
age, it disproportionately impacts women as well as the elderly, a large and
growing population.

Current treatments provide temporary relief, but because they fail to address
the underlying causes of chronic constipation, they do not normalize patients'
bowel function. Such treatments are also associated with unpleasant side
effects, the most common of which is diarrhea, causing patients to see-saw
between extremes. As a result, most doctors and their patients are
dissatisfied with current treatments for chronic constipation.

Chronic constipation is also a significant driver of healthcare costs.
Healthcare systems are spending millions of dollars annually to diagnose and
treat this disorder, including $820 million annually on over-the-counter
laxatives in the U.S. alone.

About Plecanatide

Plecanatide is a promising investigational drug being developed by Synergy
Pharmaceuticals for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) and
irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C). Plecanatide is a member of
a new class of essentially non-systemic oral drugs, known as guanylate
cyclase-C (GC-C) agonists. GC-C agonists act by targeting GC-C receptors in
the gut. By acting locally in the proximal intestine, plecanatide promotes
intestinal fluid secretion needed for normal bowel function and reduces the
abdominal symptoms that are often associated with GI disorders. Plecanatide is
a synthetic analog of uroguanylin, a natural human peptide hormone that
regulates ion and fluid transport in the GI tract.Uroguanylin binds to and
activates GC-C receptors on mucosal epithelial cells lining the GI tract.
Activation of these receptors triggers an increase in a key intracellular
mediator called cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) which induces fluid
secretion into the intestinal lumen necessary for normal bowel
movements.Increased cGMPhas also been demonstrated to produce other
physiologic benefits related to abdominal discomfort, pain, and bloating.
Preclinical studies suggest that orally-administered plecanatide mimics the
function of uroguanylin, acting locally in the proximal intestine to stimulate
secretion of fluid, thereby facilitating bowel movements and ameliorating GI
inflammation.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking within the
meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These
statements may be identified by the use of forward- looking words such as
"anticipate," "planned," "believe," "forecast," "estimated," "expected," and
"intend," among others. These forward-looking statements are based on
Synergy's current expectations and actual results could differ materially.
There are a number of factors that could cause actual events to differ
materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. These
factors include, but are not limited to, substantial competition; our ability
to continue as a going concern; our need for additional financing;
uncertainties of patent protection and litigation; uncertainties of government
or third party payer reimbursement; limited sales and marketing efforts and
dependence upon third parties; and risks related to failure to obtain FDA
clearances or approvals and noncompliance with FDA regulations. As with any
pharmaceutical under development, there are significant risks in the
development, regulatory approval and commercialization of new products. There
are no guarantees that future clinical trials discussed in this press release
will be completed or successful or that any product will receive regulatory
approval for any indication or prove to be commercially successful. Investors
should read the risk factors set forth in Synergy's Form 10-K for the year
ended December 31, 2012 and other periodic reports filed with the Securities
and Exchange Commission. While the list of factors presented here is
considered representative, no such list should be considered to be a complete
statement of all potential risks and uncertainties. Unlisted factors may
present significant additional obstacles to the realization of forward-looking
statements. Forward-looking statements included herein are made as of the date
hereof, and Synergy does not undertake any obligation to update publicly such
statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

CONTACT: Media Contact:
         Janet Skidmore
         Mobile (during DDW): 215-429-2917
         Office: 215-658-4915
         skidmorecomm@earthlink.net
        
         Investor Contact:
         Danielle Spangler
         The Trout Group
         Office: 646-378-2924
         synergy@troutgroup.com
 
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