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Transcept Pharmaceuticals Appoints Joseph T. Kennedy as General Counsel

PT. RICHMOND, Calif., March 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Transcept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: TSPT), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of proprietary products that address important therapeutic needs in the field of neuroscience, today announced the appointment of Joseph T. Kennedy to the position of Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary. In this role, Mr. Kennedy will provide legal advice to the company on matters including business development, corporate governance, public company and pharmaceutical industry compliance, intellectual property, and general corporate matters.

"On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to welcome Joe to the Transcept team as our General Counsel," said Glenn A. Oclassen, President & Chief Executive Officer. "Joe's broad experience and demonstrated record of achievement in the legal field and life science industry make him a valuable addition to the Transcept team as we prepare, subject to FDA approval, for the potential 2010 launch of our lead product candidate, Intermezzo(R), for patients who awaken in the middle of the night and have difficulty returning to sleep."

"I am delighted to join the Transcept management team at such an exciting time in the company's development," said Mr. Kennedy. "I am confident that the combination of seasoned management team, unique potential product opportunities and an entrepreneurial culture will make the company a success."

Mr. Kennedy has over 15 years of legal experience representing large pharmaceutical companies, developing life science companies, investment banks and venture capital firms. Mr. Kennedy served as Vice President and Acting Chief Legal Officer and previously, Chief Corporate Counsel, of Eyetech Pharmaceuticals. His work at Eyetech included transitioning the company from private to public through its initial public offering, legal matters related to the company's development and marketing collaboration with Pfizer, pharmaceutical industry and public company compliance, and the sale of the company. Previously, Mr. Kennedy served as Vice President and US Counsel, Corporate Business Development, with Elan Corporation. At Elan, he helped acquire, and establish and manage collaborations with, life science companies internationally and participated in the company's sale of multiple assets that raised over $2 billion in a restructuring. Mr. Kennedy practiced law with Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, where he represented investment banks and public and private developing companies in initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and general corporate matters. Mr. Kennedy serves as a Business Advisory Board member to Fountain Healthcare Partners, an international life science venture capital fund. He earned his JD at New York Law School where he served as Editor-in-Chief of The New York Law School Journal of International and Comparative Law, and his BS in Economics from Fairfield University.

About Transcept Pharmaceuticals

Transcept Pharmaceuticals is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of proprietary products that address important therapeutic needs in the field of neuroscience. On January 30, 2009, Transcept completed a merger with Novacea, Inc. As part of the transaction, Novacea changed its name to "Transcept Pharmaceuticals, Inc." and its NASDAQ ticker symbol to "TSPT." The combined company resources resulting from the merger are expected to enable Transcept to successfully commercialize its lead product candidate, Intermezzo(R). If approved, Intermezzo(R) will be the first commercially available sleep aid designed specifically for use in the middle of the night when patients awaken and have difficulty returning to sleep. Intermezzo(R) Phase 3 clinical trials have been completed and, on September 30, 2008, Transcept submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) for Intermezzo(R) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which was accepted for filing on December 15, 2008. The FDA has assigned a PDUFA date of July 30, 2009 to the Intermezzo(R) NDA.

For further information, please visit the company's website at:

Safe Harbor

This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Act"). Transcept disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements, and claim the protection of the Safe Harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Act. Examples of such statements include, but are not limited to, the ability of merger proceeds to be sufficient to successfully commercialize Intermezzo(R) and the potential for Intermezzo(R) to be the first commercially available sleep aid specifically designed for use in the middle of the night and the expected benefits of Transcept product candidates. Such statements are based on management's current expectations, but actual results may differ materially due to various risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, a significant delay in FDA approval of Intermezzo(R); unanticipated additional expenses in connection with the commercialization of Intermezzo(R); Transcept product candidates may have unexpected adverse side effects or inadequate therapeutic efficacy; positive results in clinical trials may not be sufficient to obtain FDA approval; physician or patient reluctance to use Intermezzo(R), if approved; potential alternative therapies; maintaining adequate patent or trade secret protection without violating the intellectual property rights of others; and other difficulties or delays in, clinical development, obtaining regulatory approval, market acceptance and commercialization of Transcept product candidates.


    Transcept Pharmaceuticals, Inc.       The Ruth Group
    Michael Gill                          Investors / Media
    Director of Communications            Stephanie Carrington / Jason Rando
    (510) 215-3575                        (646) 536-7017 / 7025         

SOURCE Transcept Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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