AVANIR Pharmaceuticals Announces Hiring of Michael McFadden as Vice President of U.S. Sales and Managed Markets

ALISO VIEJO, Calif., May 3, 2010 - AVANIR Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVNR) today announced the hiring of Michael McFadden as Vice President of U.S. Sales and Managed Markets. In this capacity, Mr. McFadden will be responsible for staffing, training and managing the planned Zenvia™ specialty sales force as well as overall leadership of all sales-related activities. In addition, in his capacity as managed markets leader, he will oversee the development of all strategies and activities related to national health plan account management, state Medicaid, trade relations, long term care, government affairs and contract administration.

"The hiring of Michael as Vice President of Sales represents an important milestone for the Company as we prepare for the commercial launch of our promising drug candidate Zenvia in early 2011," said Keith Katkin, AVANIR's President and CEO. "Michael's strategic and commercial operational experience meets the needs of AVANIR as we evolve into an integrated CNS-focused biopharmaceutical company. His leadership will help ensure that we optimize our Zenvia launch in PBA and fully realize our future commercial opportunities."

Mr. McFadden joins AVANIR with over 20 years of pharmaceutical commercialization experience. He most recently served in various leadership roles in sales and managed care at Amylin Pharmaceuticals. During his tenure, Amylin's Managed Markets team was consistently recognized as one of the leading managed markets teams in the industry. Mr. McFadden also was responsible for building a sales team of over 100 representatives and launching two first-in-class diabetes products for the company. Prior to Amylin, Mr. McFadden held commercial roles at Pharmacia and Eli Lilly and Company. During his career, Mr. McFadden has been involved in marketing and selling some of the pharmaceutical industry's most successful blockbuster prescription products.

About AVANIR

AVANIR Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on acquiring, developing, and commercializing novel therapeutic products for the treatment of central nervous system disorders. AVANIR's lead product candidate, Zenvia, has completed a confirmatory Phase III trial in the treatment of pseudobulbar affect (PBA) and has successfully completed a Phase III trial for diabetic peripheral neuropathic (DPN) pain. AVANIR has filed an application for regulatory approval in the PBA indication and expects an FDA approval decision in the fourth calendar quarter of 2010. AVANIR sold its anthrax monoclonal antibody program to Emergent BioSolutions. The Company's first commercialized product, Abreva® (docosanol), is marketed in North America by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare and is the leading over-the-counter product for the treatment of cold sores. Further information about AVANIR can be found at www.avanir.com and further information about pseudobulbar affect can be found at www.PBAinfo.org.

Forward Looking Statements

Statements in this press release that are not historical facts, including statements that are preceded by, followed by, or that include such words as "estimate," "intend," "anticipate," "believe," "plan," "goal," "expect," "project," or similar statements, are forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the future results expressed or implied by such statements. For example, there can be no assurance that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will approve Zenvia for any indication, that the Company will meet projected timelines, or that the Company's cash on hand will last for projected time periods. Risks and uncertainties affecting the Company's financial condition and operations also include the risks set forth in AVANIR's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and from time-to-time in other publicly available information regarding the Company. Copies of this information are available from AVANIR upon request. AVANIR disclaims any intent to update these forward-looking statements.

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AVANIR Investor Contacts
Eric Benevich
Brenna Mullen
ir@avanir.com
(949) 389-6700

May 03, 2010