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Avanir Pharmaceuticals Announces Appointment of Dr. Joao Siffert as Senior Vice President Research and Development

ALISO VIEJO, Calif., Aug. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVNR) today announced the appointment of Dr. Joao Siffert to the position of senior vice president research and development. In this newly created role, Dr. Siffert will be responsible for leading all of the company's research and development activities.

"We are thrilled to have another leader of Joao's caliber join the Avanir team," said Keith A. Katkin, president and CEO of Avanir. "His depth of medical knowledge and experience in developing novel neurologic therapeutics will be essential as we look to expand our pipeline. Joao will help propel our initiatives through both follow-on indications of NUEDEXTA and the potential in-licensing of further products to treat central nervous system disorders of high unmet need."

Dr. Siffert previously served as vice president and chief medical officer at Ceregene, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the development of neurotrophic gene therapies for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Prior to this position he served as the chief medical officer at Avera Pharmaceuticals, a CNS specialty pharma company. Prior to joining Avera, Dr. Siffert held positions with Pfizer as the worldwide medical team leader of Lyrica and Neurontin focusing in areas of pain and epilepsy and as medical director for Relpax. He was instrumental in the Phase 3b/4 program development and global launch of Lyrica. Prior to Pfizer, Dr. Siffert held academic positions at Beth Israel Medical Center, where he served as director of the Adult Neuro-Oncology program, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he was assistant professor of neurology. During his tenure at Beth Israel, Dr. Siffert was actively involved in clinical research of novel therapies for patients with brain and spinal cord tumors. He completed residencies in pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine and in neurology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Siffert was certified by the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry in 1996. He holds an M.D. degree from the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine as well as an M.B.A. degree from Columbia University Business School.

About Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on bringing innovative medicines to patients with central nervous system disorders of high unmet medical need. As part of our commitment, we have extensively invested in our pipeline and are dedicated to advancing medicines that can substantially improve the lives of patients and their loved ones. For more information about Avanir, please visit

Avanir™ is a trademark owned by Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

©2011 Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Forward Looking Statements

Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release, including statements regarding Avanir's plans, potential opportunities, financial or other expectations, projections, goals objectives, milestones, strategies, market growth, timelines, legal matters, product pipeline, clinical studies, product development and the potential benefits of its commercialized products and products under development are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially, including the risks and uncertainties associated with research and development of new products domestically and internationally, including, but not limited to expanding the Company's pipeline with follow-on and new indications, the success of external business-development activities, including, but not limited to potential in-licensing of further products, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and other documents subsequently filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements are based on current information that may change and you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, and the Company undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the issuance of this press release.

SOURCE Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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