Healthcare Industry News:  Oscient Pharmaceuticals 

Biopharmaceuticals Personnel

 News Release - February 14, 2011

Optimer Pharmaceuticals Appoints Glenn Tillotson, Ph.D., to Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs and Announces Executive Promotions

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 14, 2011 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:OPTR ) today announced that former ViroPharma executive, Glenn Tillotson, Ph.D., has joined Optimer as Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs; Sherwood Gorbach, M.D., has been promoted to the position of Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President of Research and Development; and Marc Lesnick, Ph.D., has been promoted to the newly created position of Vice President of Regulatory Affairs.

"Glenn brings to Optimer a wealth of development and launch experience in the anti-infective space, as well as outstanding leadership skills in medical affairs. Medical education and physician awareness are critical components to the successful launch of fidaxomicin for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection," said Pedro Lichtinger, Optimer's President and CEO. "In addition, both Sherry and Marc have made great contributions at Optimer, and I look forward to working with them in their expanded roles."

Dr. Tillotson, FIDSA, FRSM, FCCP, FISC, joins Optimer with more than 25 years of pharmaceutical industry experience in clinical research, scientific communications, strategic development and global launch programs. Optimer anticipates that he will lead the medical affairs team providing medical education and leadership to support optimal positioning of fidaxomicin. Prior to joining Optimer, Dr. Tillotson was at ViroPharma where he was responsible for leading the medical education programs for Vancocin®, maribavir and non-toxigenic Clostridium difficile and the successful US launch of Cinryze™. Prior to that, he was the Executive Director of Scientific Affairs at Replidyne, and Vice President, Scientific and Medical Relations for Oscient Pharmaceuticals. After training in medical microbiology and infectious diseases in the United Kingdom, he spent 13 years at Bayer AG in the U.K., U.S. and Germany where he was instrumental in the development of ciprofloxacin and moxifloxacin as well as other drugs in the Bayer AG portfolio. Dr. Tillotson has published more than 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts, presented more than 250 scientific posters and is on several journal Editorial Advisory Boards including the Lancet Infectious Diseases. He holds a Bachelors of Science in microbiology and biochemistry from Liverpool Polytechnic, a Master of Science in Medicine from University of Manchester Medical School, and Ph.D. from Richmond University in London, U.K.

Dr. Gorbach joined Optimer in 2005 as Chief Medical Officer with the responsibility of providing medical and scientific guidance in the clinical and regulatory development of fidaxomicin and other pipeline products. He has also been key spokesperson for fidaxomicin clinical and regulatory affairs. He is also currently a Professor of Public Health and Medicine and a Professor in the School of Nutrition and Social Policy at Tufts University School of Medicine, and has been since 1975. Dr. Gorbach also served as Chief of Infectious Diseases at New England Medical Center from 1975 to 1987. In 1990, he served as the President of the Massachusetts Infectious Diseases Society, and in 1995, he was the President of the Society of Microbial Ecology and Disease. In 2007, Dr. Gorbach received the Alexander Fleming Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Dr. Gorbach is a renowned authority on infectious diseases, having published 600 papers and 19 books, and he is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal, Clinical Infectious Diseases. Dr. Gorbach received his M.D. at the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston.

Dr. Lesnick joined Optimer in 2008, and served most recently as the Company's Director of Regulatory Affairs, directing the regulatory submissions for fidaxomicin and expanding the capabilities of the regulatory group in order to meet the challenges of the current regulatory environment. He has more than 11 years of experience in regulatory affairs and infectious disease research. Prior to joining Optimer, Dr. Lesnick was the lead regulatory representative at Verus Pharmaceuticals for the Twinject® Auto-Injector, an approved drug in the U.S. and Canada, and assisted in the development of an EU marketing application. Prior to Verus, he worked for a global leader in clinical research support services, PAREXEL, Inc., where he participated in NDA preparation, IND support and FDA interactions for numerous products in the fields of psychiatry, dermatology, and endocrinology and metabolism. Additionally, Dr. Lesnick worked for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where in the Special Review Program he developed innovative clinical trial grant programs and routinely organized the reviews of multi-million dollar grant and contract programs in the field of infectious diseases, especially HIV. Dr. Lesnick received his B.A. in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his Ph.D. in biology from the University of Oregon. He is a member of several scientific and regulatory professional associations, and the author of several publications in the field of enteric infectious disease.

About Optimer Pharmaceuticals

Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing hospital specialty products to treat serious infections and address unmet medical needs. Optimer has two anti-infective product candidates in development, fidaxomicin and Pruvel™ (prulifloxacin). Fidaxomicin is a narrow spectrum antibiotic being developed for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). The FDA granted the Company's request for six-month Priority Review of fidaxomicin, and has assigned a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) goal date of May 30, 2011. The Company also filed a MAA with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for fidaxomicin. Pruvel™ is a prodrug in the fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics being developed as a treatment for infectious diarrhea. Additional information can be found at

Forward Looking Statements

Statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts are forward-looking statements, including without limitation all statements related to the potential approval and commercial launch of fidaxomicin, Optimer's anticipated medical affairs activities and the future roles and contributions of Dr. Tillotson, Dr. Gorbach, and Dr. Lesnick at Optimer. Words such as "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "intend," "will," "goal" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The inclusion of forward-looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by Optimer that any of its plans will be achieved. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in this release due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in Optimer's business including, without limitation, risks relating to: the timing, progress and likelihood of success of its product development efforts, the timing and status of regulatory filings, receipt of regulatory approvals, Optimer's ability to successfully commercialize any product for which it receives regulatory approval, and other risks detailed in Optimer's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Source: Optimer Pharmaceuticals

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