ALISO VIEJO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)----AVANIR Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AVNR) today announced that Martin J. Sturgeon has joined the Company as Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer with responsibility for overseeing all accounting practices and policies for the organization.
Prior to joining AVANIR, Mr. Sturgeon spent three years with the financial consultancy firm DLC, Inc. In this capacity, he acted as interim Chief Accounting Officer and interim Corporate Controller responsible for managing the finance and accounting departments of several companies. Prior to joining DLC, he served as Vice President, Corporate Controller for Corinthian Colleges, Inc. and as Vice President, Group Controller at Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. He previously held various positions with increasing responsibility in accounting and finance departments at several large corporations. He holds a bachelor's of business administration degree in accounting from the University of San Diego and a MBA in finance from IESE, a European MBA program sponsored by Harvard University. Additionally, Mr. Sturgeon is a licensed certified public accountant in California.
"We welcome Martin to the AVANIR team. He brings us significant experience and demonstrated expertise in accounting and financial management," said Michael Puntoriero, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of AVANIR.
AVANIR Pharmaceuticals is focused on developing, acquiring and commercializing novel therapeutic products for the treatment of chronic diseases. AVANIR's products and product candidates address therapeutic markets that include the central nervous system, cardiovascular disorders, inflammation and infectious diseases. AVANIR currently markets FazaClo(R), the only orally-disintegrating formulation of clozapine for the management of severely ill schizophrenic patients who fail to respond adequately to standard schizophrenic drug treatments. FazaClo is also indicated for reducing the risk of suicidal behavior in patients with schizophrenic or schizoaffective disorder. For full prescribing information and important safety information regarding FazaClo, please visit www.fazaclo.com. Zenvia(TM), AVANIR's lead product candidate for the treatment of involuntary emotional expression disorder (IEED), is the subject of an approvable letter from the FDA and future development plans for this product candidate are under consideration. The Company does not know at this time what impact, if any, the ongoing discussions with the FDA for IEED may have on the development of Zenvia for other indications. Additionally, AVANIR has completed the patient recruitment in a Phase III clinical trial with Zenvia as a potential treatment for patients with painful diabetic neuropathy. AVANIR has active collaborations with two international pharmaceutical companies: Novartis International Pharmaceutical Ltd. for the treatment of inflammatory disease; and AstraZeneca for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. The Company's first commercialized product, abreva(R), 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.
Pursuant to Mr. Sturgeon's employment agreement, he will receive an inducement grant of a non-qualified stock option to purchase up to 20,000 shares of Avanir's Class A common stock at a price equal to the fair market value of the common stock as of the date the option is approved by the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors. This option award will be made outside of the Company's established equity compensation plans and will be granted without stockholder approval pursuant to NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 4350(i)(1)(A)(iv). The award will have a term of 10 years and a four-year vesting schedule, with one-quarter of the underlying shares vesting on the first anniversary of employment and the remainder vesting on a quarterly basis thereafter for the next three years.
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