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 News Release - March 14, 2007

AVANIR Pharmaceuticals Appoints New Chief Executive Officer

ALISO VIEJO, Calif.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--AVANIR Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AVNR ) today announced that Keith A. Katkin has been appointed President and CEO and elected as a member of the board of directors. Mr. Katkin has replaced Eric K. Brandt, who resigned as President and CEO effective as of March 12, 2007.

Mr. Katkin joined Avanir in July of 2005 as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing and has served as a member of Avanir's Executive Management Team. Prior to joining Avanir, Mr. Katkin served as the Vice President, Commercial Development for Peninsula Pharmaceuticals, playing a key role in the management of the company. Additionally, Mr. Katkin's employment experience includes leadership roles at InterMune, Amgen and Abbott Laboratories.

"The Board is pleased to announce Keith's appointment as President and CEO," said Craig Wheeler, a member of Avanir's board of directors. "Since arriving at Avanir, Keith has been deeply involved across the business. He led the build out of a fully integrated commercial organization, including the acquisition and integration of AlAMO Pharmaceuticals, as the company prepared for the potential launch of Zenvia. His contributions to the company have been meaningful, and the board anticipates that Keith will continue to show his considerable leadership skills as he navigates the company toward the anticipated eventual approval of Zenvia for IEED and minimizes operating expenses during this time."

"I want to thank Eric for his past contributions and anticipated support for the Company in the transition," said Mr. Katkin.

About Zenvia

Zenvia is a combination of two well-characterized compounds, the active ingredient dextromethorphan, and the enzyme inhibitor quinidine, which serves to increase the bioavailability of dextromethorphan. The first-in-class drug candidate is believed to help regulate excitatory neurotransmission in two ways, through presynaptic inhibition of glutamate release via sigma-1 receptor agonist activity, and through postsynaptic glutamate response modulation via uncompetitive, low-affinity NMDA antagonist activity.


AVANIR Pharmaceuticals is focused on developing, acquiring and commercializing novel therapeutic products for the treatment of chronic diseases. AVANIR's products and product candidates address therapeutic markets that include the central nervous system, cardiovascular disorders, inflammation and infectious diseases. AVANIR currently markets FazaClo®, the only orally-disintegrating formulation of clozapine for the management of severely ill schizophrenic patients who fail to respond adequately to standard schizophrenic drug treatments. FazaClo is also indicated for reducing the risk of suicidal behavior in patients with schizophrenic or schizoaffective disorder. For full prescribing information and important safety information regarding FazaClo, please visit Zenvia(TM), AVANIR's lead product candidate for the treatment of involuntary emotional expression disorder (IEED), is the subject of an approvable letter from the FDA. Additionally, AVANIR has completed the patient recruitment in a Phase III clinical trial with Zenvia as a potential treatment for patients with painful diabetic neuropathy. AVANIR has active collaborations with two international pharmaceutical companies: Novartis International Pharmaceutical Ltd. for the treatment of inflammatory disease; and AstraZeneca for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. The Company's first commercialized product, abreva®, is marketed in North America by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare and is the leading over-the-counter product for the treatment of cold sores. Further information about AVANIR can be found at

Forward Looking Statement

Statements in this press release that are not historical facts, including statements that are preceded by, followed by, or that include such words as "estimate," "intend," "anticipate," "believe," "plan," "goal," "expect," or similar statements, are forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the future results expressed or implied by such statements. There can be no assurance that the Company will receive FDA regulatory approval for Zenvia or that the additional development work for Zenvia will be completed in the time periods that are anticipated. Final review decisions made by the FDA and other regulatory agencies concerning are often unpredictable and outside the influence and control of the Company. Risks and uncertainties also include the risks set forth in Avanir's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and from time-to-time in other publicly available information regarding the Company. Copies of this information are available from Avanir upon request. Avanir disclaims any intent to update these forward-looking statements.

Source: AVANIR Pharmaceuticals

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