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Optimer Pharmaceuticals Expands Senior Management Team
Date:5/3/2011

SAN DIEGO, May 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPTR) today announced the appointment of Nancy Ruiz, M.D., as Senior Vice President of Research and Development, Cynthia Schwalm as Senior Vice President of International and Kasia Petchel, M.D., as Senior Vice President of Pharmacovigilance. These newly created positions will strengthen the senior management team as the Company prepares for the potential launch of its lead product candidate, DIFICID™, while seeking to build its hospital specialty products capability and pipeline.  

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"With the recent FDA Advisory Committee's unanimous vote in favor of market approval of DIFICID for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection, we are taking additional steps to build a powerful team that will contribute to a successful product launch and long term company growth," said Pedro Lichtinger, Optimer's President and CEO. "These additions to our senior management team will support the safety and risk management of DIFICID, maximize our international business, and improve our capability to build our product pipeline."  

Dr. Ruiz joins Optimer with more than 20 years of Phase 1 through Phase 4 clinical research experience in infectious diseases and immunology, which includes more than 15 years in the pharmaceutical industry.  She joins Optimer from Merck Research Laboratories (formerly Schering-Plough Research Institute) where she served as Vice President, Project and Pipeline Management for Infectious Diseases.  During that tenure she fulfilled several leadership and strategic roles, including Senior Project Leader of early and late development teams responsible for the C. difficile monoclonal antibody program, as we
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