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 News Release - February 17, 2017

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals Appoints Vincent J. Angotti Chief Executive Officer

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Feb. 16, 2017 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ACRX), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of moderate-to-severe acute pain, announced that Vincent J. Angotti has been appointed chief executive officer and a member of the company's board of directors, effective Monday, March 6, 2017. Mr. Angotti brings over two decades of experience leading executive and commercial teams at public and private life sciences companies, most recently as CEO of XenoPort, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of treatments for neuropathic pain and other neurological disorders. Mr. Angotti succeeds Howie Rosen, who will continue on the AcelRx board of directors, where he has served since 2008.

"Vince has extensive experience in marketing and commercialization of specialty and mass-market branded pharmaceuticals, as well as in life-cycle management, business development and strategic planning, all of which will be important as we move DSUVIA™ and ZALVISO® forward," commented Howie Rosen, AcelRx CEO. "I look forward to working with Vince to ensure a smooth transition at this critical juncture in the company's growth as I return to my role as an active and involved member of the AcelRx board of directors."

Adrian Adams, chairman of the AcelRx board of directors, added, "The company has enjoyed strong leadership during Howie's tenure as CEO, and appreciates him stepping into that role in 2015. Howie's continued involvement on the board of directors will be beneficial to AcelRx given his long history with the company. The board and I welcome Vince to the team and look forward to leveraging his expertise as we continue to evolve as a commercial company."

Vincent J. Angotti joined XenoPort, Inc. in 2008 as SVP and chief commercialization officer and was promoted to EVP and COO in 2012 and to CEO in 2015. During his tenure at XenoPort, Mr. Angotti was involved in the re-acquisition of Horizant from GSK and implemented a successful re-branding and re-launch strategy leading to XenoPort's acquisition by Arbor Pharmaceuticals, LLC in 2016. Previous to joining XenoPort, Mr. Angotti held senior sales and marketing positions at Reliant Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from 2001 – 2008. In his role as senior vice president of sales and marketing at Reliant, Mr. Angotti was integrally involved in the company's M&A discussions that concluded with Reliant's acquisition by GSK in 2007. Mr. Angotti began his career in the life sciences industry at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., where he worked from 1991 – 2001 in sales and operations positions of increasing responsibility. He earned a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in business management from Cornell University in 1990 and a Masters of Business Administration with honors in 2000 from Columbia University.

Vince Angotti added, "AcelRx has made significant strides during the last few years, bringing ZALVISO to market in Europe and submitting the DSUVIA NDA in the U.S. These milestones are a testament to the quality of the science behind these products and to the strength of the AcelRx team. With these qualities in place, I have tremendous optimism for the future of AcelRx, and look forward to leading the executive team as we continue the evolution of AcelRx into a commercial company."

About AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of moderate-to-severe acute pain. An NDA for DSUVIA (sufentanil sublingual tablet, 30mcg) with a proposed indication for the treatment of moderate-to-severe acute pain in medically supervised settings, was submitted to the FDA for review in December 2016.

The Company's follow on product, ZALVISO® (sufentanil sublingual tablet system), designed for the management of moderate-to-severe acute pain in adult patients in the hospital setting, is currently enrolling patients in a Phase 3 clinical trial, IAP312. ZALVISO delivers 15 mcg sufentanil sublingually through a non-invasive delivery route via a pre-programmed, patient-controlled analgesia device. ZALVISO is approved in the EU and is investigational and in late-stage development in the U.S. Grunenthal Group holds the rights for ZALVISO in Europe, where a commercial launch has begun.

For additional information about AcelRx's clinical programs, please visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements related to the process and timing of anticipated future development of AcelRx's product candidates, DSUVIATM (sufentanil sublingual tablet, 30 mcg), known as ARX-04 outside the United States, and ZALVISO® (sufentanil sublingual tablet system), including U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, review of the New Drug Application, or NDA, for DSUVIA; the potential approval of the DSUVIA NDA by the FDA; the DSUVIA and ARX-04 clinical trial results; AcelRx's pathway forward towards gaining approval of ZALVISO in the U.S., including successful completion of the IAP312 clinical study for ZALVISO; and the therapeutic and commercial potential of AcelRx's product candidates, including potential market opportunities for DSUVIA, ARX-04 and ZALVISO. These forward-looking statements are based on AcelRx Pharmaceuticals' current expectations and inherently involve significant risks and uncertainties. AcelRx Pharmaceuticals' actual results and timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements, and as a result of these risks and uncertainties, which include, without limitation, risks related to AcelRx Pharmaceuticals' DSUVIA and ARX-04 development programs, including the FDA review of the DSUVIA NDA and the possibility that the FDA may dispute or interpret differently clinical results obtained from the DSUVIA Phase 3 studies; the ZALVISO development program, including successful completion of IAP312 and the resubmission of the ZALVISO NDA to the FDA; any delays or inability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval of its product candidates, including DSUVIA in the United States, ARX-04 in Europe and ZALVISO in the United States; the uncertain clinical development process; the success, cost and timing of all development activities and clinical trials; and other risks detailed in the "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in AcelRx's U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings and reports, including its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on November 2, 2016. AcelRx undertakes no duty or obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release as a result of new information, future events or changes in its expectations.

Source: AcelRx Pharmaceuticals

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