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Orexigen(R) Therapeutics Announces Jay Hagan as Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategy

SAN DIEGO, May 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Orexigen(R) Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: OREX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of obesity, today announced that Jay Hagan has joined the organization as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy.

"Jay brings over 15 years of biotechnology operating and business development experience in a variety of roles including leadership of a significant number of important transactions. We are excited to add someone of Jay's breadth of experience to the Orexigen executive team, " said Michael Narachi, President and Chief Executive Officer. "His solid background will be invaluable as we focus on partnership opportunities and position the organization to successfully manage our operations, continue our development activities and execute on our commercialization plans for Contrave(R) and Empatic(TM)."

In his role, Jay will lead corporate development at Orexigen, notably focusing on partnership opportunities and commercialization strategy for lead products Contrave (naltrexone sustained release (SR)/bupropion SR), which is on track for an NDA submission to the FDA in the first half of 2010, and Empatic (zonisamide SR/bupropion SR), which is in the later stages of Phase 2 clinical development.

"I'm incredibly excited to join the Orexigen team at this pivotal time for the Company," said Jay. "Orexigen possesses a unique opportunity among small biotechnology companies. I look forward to leveraging my extensive experience in corporate and partnership strategy to further the Company's business development efforts."

Prior to joining Orexigen, Jay was a Partner at Groundswell Advisors, a biotechnology consulting firm, providing guidance and operational execution in corporate strategy, commercialization, financing and partnership opportunities. While at Groundswell Advisors, he served as acting chief executive officer of Unity Pharma, consulted to numerous small biotech companies, and served on the board of directors of Seredigm Corp. Prior to establishing Groundswell, Jay spent ten years at Amgen Inc. where he served in various senior business development roles, including founder and Managing Director of Amgen Ventures, and earlier as head of Corporate Development. His track record includes such notable completed transactions as the acquisitions of Immunex and Tularik as well as numerous other business development efforts totaling over $15 billion in value. Before joining Amgen, Jay spent five years in the bioengineering labs at Genzyme and Advanced Tissue Sciences.

He received an M.B.A. at Northeastern University and a B.S. in Physiology and Neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego.

About Orexigen Therapeutics

Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of obesity. The Company's lead combination product candidates targeted for obesity are Contrave(R), which is in Phase 3 clinical trials, and Empatic(TM), which is in the later stages of Phase 2 clinical development. Each product candidate is designed to act on a specific group of neurons in the central nervous system with the goal of achieving appetite suppression and sustained weight loss. Further information about the Company can be found at

Forward-Looking Statements

Orexigen cautions you that statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts are forward-looking statements. Words such as "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "indicates," "will," "intends," "potential," "suggests," "assuming," "designed" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are based on the Company's current beliefs and expectations. These forward-looking statements include statements regarding the enrollment, timing and completion of clinical trials of Contrave, and the potential to obtain regulatory approval for, and effectively treat obesity with, Contrave or Empatic. The inclusion of forward-looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by Orexigen that any of its plans will be achieved. Actual results may differ from those set forth in this release due to the risk and uncertainties inherent in the Orexigen business, including, without limitation: the clinical trials of Contrave may produce negative or inconclusive results, or may be inconsistent with previously conducted clinical trials, and the FDA may not agree with the Company's interpretation of efficacy and safety results; the potential that earlier clinical trials may not be predictive of future results; Contrave may not receive regulatory approval on a timely basis or at all; the FDA may require Orexigen to complete additional clinical, non-clinical or other requirements prior to the submission or the approval of NDAs for either product candidate; the potential for adverse safety findings relating to Contrave to delay or prevent regulatory approval or commercialization, or result in product liability claims; the third parties on whom Orexigen relies to assist with the development programs for Contrave, including clinical investigators, contract laboratories, clinical research organizations and manufacturing organizations, may not successfully carry out their contractual duties or obligations or meet expected deadlines, and the quality or accuracy of the data or materials generated by such third parties may be of insufficient quality to include in the Company's regulatory submissions; the ability of Orexigen and its licensors to obtain, maintain and successfully enforce adequate patent and other intellectual property protection of Contrave; and other risks described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, and Orexigen undertakes no obligation to revise or update this news release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. This caution is made under the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

SOURCE Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc.
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