Healthcare Industry News:  ROTARIX 

Biopharmaceuticals Personnel

 News Release - January 23, 2006

AVANT Expands Senior Management Team with Appointment of Ronald W. Ellis, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Research and Development

NEEDHAM, Mass.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Jan. 23, 2006--AVANT Immunotherapeutics (Nasdaq: AVAN ) today announced the appointment of Ronald W. Ellis, Ph.D. as Senior Vice President, Research and Development. Dr. Ellis had previously been Senior Vice President, Development, for ID Biomedical Corporation, which was recently acquired by GlaxoSmithKline. He was also General Manager of ID Biomedical's Northborough, Massachusetts vaccine development and pilot manufacturing facility, which he had started up for a predecessor company in 1998.

"We are very pleased that Ron has decided to join AVANT," said Una S. Ryan, President and Chief Executive Officer of AVANT Immunotherapeutics, "Ron is a leading vaccine development executive with a proven track record of success. His 23 years of vaccine industry experience will be invaluable to AVANT as we advance our vaccines toward commercialization."

Dr. Ellis began his industrial career at the Merck Research Laboratories, where he played leadership roles in the development of several vaccines prior to their licensure, including varicella (Varivax®), hepatitis B (Recombivax® HB), and Haemophilus influenzae type b (PedVAXHib®). He also provided early leadership in the development of Merck's rotavirus (Rotateq®) and human papilloma virus (Gardasil®) vaccines, for which license applications have been filed. At ID Biomedical, he oversaw the development of a group A streptococcal vaccine and a pneumococcal group-common vaccine. Dr. Ellis has a B.A. from the University of Chicago, a Ph.D. from Cornell University, and an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland. He is Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed journal Human Vaccines.

In his new role, Ron will be responsible for development functions including the identification of new vaccine candidates, biological and preclinical development, assay and process development, clinical lot production, quality control and project management.

Additional information on AVANT Immunotherapeutics, Inc. can be obtained through our site on the World Wide Web:

Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This release includes forward-looking statements which reflect AVANT's current views with respect to future events and financial performance. These forward-looking statements are based on management's beliefs and assumptions and information currently available. The words "believe", "expect", "anticipate", "intend", "estimate", "project" and similar expressions which do not relate solely to historical matters identify forward-looking statements. Investors should be cautious in relying on forward-looking statements because they are subject to a variety of risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any such forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to: (1) the integration of multiple technologies and programs; (2) the ability to adapt AVANT's vectoring systems to develop new, safe and effective orally administered vaccines against anthrax and plague or other bioterrorism threats or emerging health care threats; (3) the ability to successfully complete development and commercialization of TP10, CETi-1, CholeraGarde® (Peru-15), Ty800 and other products; (4) the cost, timing, scope and results of ongoing safety and efficacy trials of TP10, CETi-1, CholeraGarde® (Peru-15), Ty800 and other preclinical and clinical testing; (5) the ability to successfully complete product research and further development, including animal, pre-clinical and clinical studies of TP10, CETi-1, CholeraGarde® (Peru-15), Ty800 and other products; (6) the ability of the Company to manage multiple late stage clinical trials for a variety of product candidates; (7) the volume and profitability of product sales of Megan®Vac 1, Megan®Egg and other future products; (8) the process of obtaining regulatory approval for the sale of ROTARIX® in major commercial markets, as well as the timing and success of worldwide commercialization of ROTARIX® by our partner, GlaxoSmithKline; (9) changes in existing and potential relationships with corporate collaborators; (10) the availability, cost, delivery and quality of clinical and commercial grade materials supplied by contract manufacturers; (11) the timing, cost and uncertainty of obtaining regulatory approvals to use TP10, CETi-1, CholeraGarde® (Peru-15) and Ty800, among other purposes, for adults undergoing cardiac surgery, to raise serum HDL cholesterol levels and to protect travelers and people in endemic regions from diarrhea causing diseases, respectively; (12) the ability to obtain substantial additional funding; (13) the ability to develop and commercialize products before competitors; (14) the ability to retain certain members of management; and (15) other factors detailed from time to time in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We expressly disclaim any responsibility to update forward-looking statements.

Source: AVANT Immunotherapeutics

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