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Orexigen(R) Therapeutics Names Patrick Mahaffy to Board of Directors

SAN DIEGO, March 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Orexigen(R) Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: OREX) today announced that Patrick Mahaffy has been appointed to the Company's Board of Directors to fill an existing vacancy on the board.

Mr. Mahaffy brings significant biotechnology and pharmaceutical executive management experience. He was the founder of Pharmion Corporation and served as its President and CEO from its inception through its acquisition eight years later. Under Mr. Mahaffy's leadership, Pharmion successfully acquired, developed and gained approval for several oncology products in the U.S. and Europe and achieved significant revenues and sustained growth from those products until its acquisition by Celgene Corporation for $2.9 billion in March 2008. Mr. Mahaffy is presently creating a new company dedicated to acquiring and developing oncology drug products.

"Patrick has a proven track record in successfully managing all facets of drug development and commercialization, and his experience will be incredibly valuable as we complete the Phase 3 program for Contrave, our lead obesity product candidate," said Eckard Weber, M.D., Executive Chairman and Interim President and CEO. "In addition, his knowledge and experience in strategic business development will be important as we continue to explore partnership opportunities and execute on broader business strategies."

Prior to co-founding Pharmion, Mr. Mahaffy was President and CEO of NeXagen, Inc. and its successor, NeXstar Pharmaceuticals Inc. from 1992 until 1999. He is credited for developing corporate partnerships with Eli Lilly and Co., Systemix/Sandoz, Schering AG and Becton, Dickinson and Co. He took NeXstar Pharmaceuticals public in 1994 and in 1995 acquired publicly-traded company Vestar. In July 1999, Gilead acquired NeXstar Pharmaceuticals for $800 million. Mr. Mahaffy received a B.A. from Lewis and Clark College and an M.A. from Columbia School of International Affairs.

About Orexigen(R) 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, 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

SOURCE Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc.
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