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Optimer Pharmaceuticals Appoints Stephen Newman to Its Board of Directors
Date:7/24/2012

SAN DIEGO, July 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: OPTR) today announced the appointment of Dr. Stephen Newman to its Board of Directors.  Dr. Newman is the former Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Tenet Healthcare Corporation (THC), a health care delivery and services company, until his retirement in June 2012.

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"Dr. Newman's extensive leadership and experience, ranging from medical practitioner to COO of a major health care delivery system operating several dozen hospitals and providing services to hundreds of institutions, brings tremendous insight and value to Optimer's Board, particularly in these early stages of introducing DIFICID to the health care system," said Pedro Lichtinger, President and CEO of Optimer.

Dr. Newman, 62, most recently served as Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Tenet Healthcare Corporation until his retirement in June 2012. Dr. Newman joined Tenet in February 1999 and held various positions of increasing responsibility before eventually becoming COO, including Chief Executive Officer for Tenet's California region. Before joining Tenet, Dr. Newman held executive positions at Columbia/HCA Inc. from April 1997 to February 1999 and served as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Touro Infirmary in New Orleans from August 1990 to March 1997. Prior to 1990, Dr. Newman served as Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Wright State University School of Medicine and as Director of Gastroenterology and Nutrition Support at Children's Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio.  Dr. Newman recently completed a five-year term on the Board of Directors of the Federation of American Hospitals and presently serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Labor Education and Healthcare Advisory Committee. Dr. Newman holds a bachelor's degree from Rutgers University, an M.B.A. from Tulane University and a medical degree from the University of Tennessee. He completed his internship, residency and fellowship at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Newman also completed the Advanced Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.

About Optimer Pharmaceuticals
Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative hospital specialty products that have a positive impact on society. Optimer developed DIFICID® (fidaxomicin) tablets, an FDA-approved macrolide antibacterial drug for the treatment of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) in adults 18 years of age and older and is commercializing DIFICID in the US and Canada. Optimer also received marketing authorization for fidaxomicin tablets in the European Union where its partner, Astellas Pharma Europe, is commercializing fidaxomicin under the trade name DIFICLIR™. The Company is exploring marketing authorization in other parts of the world where C. difficile has emerged as a serious health problem.  Additional information can be found at http://www.optimerpharma.com.

Contacts
Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
David Walsey, VP of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
858-964-3418

Canale Communications
Jason I. Spark, Senior Vice President
619-849-6005


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SOURCE Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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