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Executive Changes at Ampio

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo., Jan. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ampio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMPE) ("Ampio" or the "Company"), a company that discovers and develops new uses for previously approved drugs and new molecular entities, announced that CEO Don Wingerter would be granted a compassionate leave from all his duties at the company in order to attend to serious illnesses afflicting his closest family members.  The term of leave is currently unknowable and should be considered indefinite at this time.  Taking over the position of CEO will be Michael Macaluso, current Chairman of the Ampio Board of Directors and lead investor in DMI BioSciences, predecessor company to Ampio. 

Philip Coelho, Chairman of the Nominating and Governance committee of the Board, commented  "The entire Board would like to express our appreciation of all the excellent work performed by Don Wingerter over the last two years especially because we were all aware of the deteriorating health of his parents and saw the great strain that it was causing him.  We fully respect his decision to devote his full efforts to his family at this most urgent time and wish him all the best." 

"Fortunately for Ampio shareholders, Mr. Macaluso has agreed to assume the duties of CEO immediately and, in the unanimous opinion of the Board, could not be more qualified by intelligence, determination and knowledge of the issues before us.  Mr. Macaluso previously served as CEO managing the turn-around at Isolagen from August 2001 until September 2004. Isolagen's commercial efforts had been terminated by FDA intervention and the company was on the verge of bankruptcy.  Mr. Macaluso led a group of investors that provided Isolagen credit during the due diligence period and a significant investment thereafter.  As CEO, Mr. Macaluso quickly refocused the business goals of Isolagen, improved the relationship with the FDA, hired an accomplished management team, re-introduced the upgraded company to Institutional Investors and received FDA permission to proceed with a clinical trial of the company's lead product.  Having positioned the company for a successful future, Mr. Macaluso removed himself as CEO in September 2004 to make way for a more conventional CEO with pharmaceutical background leaving Isolagen with a market capitalization in excess of $300,000,000, more than $100,000,000 in cash and equivalents, an FDA sanctioned pivotal trial underway, a highly-institutionalized float and with three autologous cell laboratories constructed in England, Australia, and the United States ready for commercialization of the product.  Revenues had begun in the UK."

Dr. David Bar-Or, founder, Director and Chief Scientific Officer of Ampio, noted "For over three decades I was involved in research in underserved areas of medicine. I founded DMI BioSciences  and was able to perform substantial research and discovery in that company, but the business did not thrive. This all changed when I was introduced to Mr. Macaluso who became the lead investor and the driving force in transforming my discoveries into Ampio Pharmaceuticals Inc., a rapidly developing pharmaceutical business with active clinical trials of my lead drug discoveries.  To accomplish this transformation he has worked tirelessly over the last 30 months, without compensation, and made sure that all the DMI shareholders would benefit significantly from the future success of the company. In that respect, and in all his other actions, he has been remarkably fair and generous.  I am proud to be associated with this talented business person whose clear missions are to reward the shareholders and commercialize much needed remedies to many sufferers."

About Ampio
Ampio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. develops innovative proprietary drugs for metabolic disease, eye disease, kidney disease, inflammation, CNS disease, and male sexual dysfunction. The product pipeline includes new uses for previously approved drugs and new molecular entities ("NMEs"). By concentrating on development of new uses for previously approved drugs, approval timelines, costs and risk of clinical failure are reduced because these drugs have strong potential to be safe and effective while their shorter development times can significantly increase near term value. A key strategy includes actively exploring partnership, licensing and other collaboration opportunities to maximize Ampio's product development programs.  For more information about Ampio, please visit our website,

Forward-Looking Statements
Ampio's statements in this press release that are not historical fact and that relate to future plans or events are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by use of words such as "believe," "expect," "plan," "anticipate," and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements include risks associated with clinical trials, expected results, regulatory approvals, and changes in business conditions and similar events. The risks and uncertainties involved include those detailed from time to time in Ampio's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Ampio's Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.

Investor Relations, Ampio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.-- 720-437-6500


SOURCE Ampio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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