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Optimer Pharmaceuticals Receives Production Patent for Lead Product Candidate Fidaxomicin
Date:4/13/2009

SAN DIEGO, April 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: OPTR) announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a production patent (U.S. Patent No. 7,507,564) covering steps used in the manufacture of fidaxomicin, which is currently in its second Phase 3 clinical trial for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection, or CDI.

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"The issuance of this production patent is another important milestone in strengthening the patent estate of our lead product candidate, fidaxomicin," said Michael N. Chang, Ph.D., President and CEO of Optimer. "We believe this patent and the issued polymorphic Form A patent, along with additional pending patent applications, will enhance our intellectual property protection for fidaxomicin."

Fidaxomicin is the first in a new class of antibiotics called macrocyclics, which inhibit the bacterial enzyme RNA polymerase, resulting in the death of Clostridium difficile. The narrow spectrum profile of fidaxomicin may eradicate Clostridium difficile selectively with minimal disruption to the normal intestinal flora. This may facilitate the return of the normal physiological conditions in the colon and reduce the probability of CDI recurrence.

About Optimer Pharmaceuticals

Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing innovative anti-infective products to treat serious infections and address unmet medical needs. Optimer has two late-stage anti-infective product candidates under development. Fidaxomicin, formerly known as OPT-80, is the only antibiotic therapy currently in Phase 3 worldwide clinical development for Clostridium difficile infection. Prulifloxacin is an antibiotic which has completed two Phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment of travelers' diarrhea, a form of infectious diarrhea. Additional information can be found at http://www.optimerpharma.com.

Forward-looking Statements

Statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts are forward-looking statements, including without limitation all statements related to Optimer's intellectual property position. Words such as "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "intend," "will," "goal" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The inclusion of forward-looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by Optimer that any of its plans will be achieved. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in this release due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in Optimer's business including, without limitation, risks relating to: maintaining intellectual property positions, patent litigation, third party development of technology that does not infringe Optimer's patents and other risks detailed in Optimer's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    Contacts
    Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
    Christina Donaghy, Corporate Communications Manager
    John D. Prunty, Chief Financial Officer & VP Finance
    858-909-0736

    Porter Novelli Life Sciences
    Jason I. Spark, Vice President
    619-849-6005


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SOURCE Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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