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Biotechnology Value Fund, L.P. Calls Special Meeting of Avigen Stockholders To Remove Incumbent Directors and Elect Slate of Stockholder-Focused Nominees
Date:1/9/2009

Calls Special Meeting to Enable Stockholders to Determine Fate of Company's Remaining Cash

Believes Transaction Proposed by MediciNova, Inc. Offers Avigen Stockholders Extraordinary Risk/Reward Opportunity

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Biotechnology Value Fund, L.P. together with its affiliates ("BVF") today announced that it has requested that the Board of Directors of Avigen, Inc. ("Avigen") (Nasdaq: AVGN) call a Special Meeting of the stockholders for the purpose of replacing the Board with BVF's slate of stockholder focused nominees. BVF is the beneficial owner of approximately 29.6% of Avigen's outstanding common stock.

BVF proposes to remove the members of the Board and replace them with directors who will work to ensure Avigen's stockholders receive the maximum value for their investment in Avigen, while minimizing both downside risk and corporate waste. If elected, BVF's nominees intend to take steps that would benefit all stockholders, including redeeming Avigen's stockholder rights plan, working to consummate the proposed transaction with MediciNova, Inc. ("MediciNova") and/or working to complete a distribution of Avigen's assets to all stockholders.

BVF has nominated four highly qualified nominees, Mark N. Lampert, Oleg Nodelman, Matthew D. Perry and Robert M. Coppedge, as its slate of director nominees to be elected at the Special Meeting to replace Avigen's entire existing Board. Messrs. Lampert, Perry, and Nodelman are currently employed by the General Partner of BVF. Mr. Coppedge is an independent nominee, with no economic interest in BVF, Avigen, or MediciNova. Avigen's bylaws provide that the Board shall set the date of the Special Meeting, which shall be held not less than thirty-five (35) nor more than one hundred twenty (120) days after the date of receipt of BVF's
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SOURCE Biotechnology Value Fund, L.P.
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