AVANIR Pharmaceuticals Hires Randall E. Kaye, M.D. as Vice President of Medical Affairs

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 11, 2006--AVANIR Pharmaceuticals (AMEX:AVN) announced today that Randall E. Kaye, M.D. has joined the company in the newly created role of Vice President of Medical Affairs. Dr. Kaye will focus on providing leadership and vision to the Medical Affairs area and supporting the commercialization of new products from a medical, scientific, regulatory, technical and quality perspective.

Immediately prior to joining AVANIR, Dr. Kaye was the Vice President of Medical Affairs for Scios Inc., a division of Johnson & Johnson, where he built and integrated a Medical Affairs department consisting of 80 professionals. Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Kaye recruited and managed the Medical Affairs department for InterMune Inc. Previously, Dr. Kaye served for nearly a decade in a variety of Medical Affairs and Marketing positions for Pfizer Inc. Dr. Kaye earned his Doctor of Medicine, Masters in Public Health and Bachelor of Science degrees at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and was a Research Fellow in Allergy and Immunology at Harvard Medical School.

"Randall Kaye brings strong Medical Affairs and Marketing experience to this newly created position at AVANIR," said Eric Brandt, AVANIR's President and CEO. "His experience and knowledge will contribute greatly to the implementation of our strategy of building a Medical Affairs organization that is able to build awareness for an unmet medical need as AVANIR grows from a research-oriented company into a fully integrated pharmaceutical company."

AVANIR Pharmaceuticals is focused on developing and commercializing novel therapeutic products for the treatment of chronic diseases. AVANIR's product candidates address therapeutic markets that include central nervous system and cardiovascular disorders, inflammation, and infectious diseases. AVANIR previously announced positive results in the second of two required Phase III clinical trials of Neurodex(TM), an investigational new drug for the treatment of pseudobulbar affect. Additionally, AVANIR has initiated a Phase III clinical trial for Neurodex as a potential treatment in patients with diabetic neuropathic pain, a second indication for Neurodex. 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.

The information contained in this press release, including any forward-looking statements contained herein, should be reviewed in conjunction with the company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and quarterly report on Form 10-Q and other publicly available information regarding the Company. Copies of such information are available from the company upon request. Such publicly available information sets forth many risks and uncertainties related to the company's business and technology. Forward-looking statements often contain such words like "estimate," "anticipate," "believe," "plan" or "expect." AVANIR disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.


    CONTACT: AVANIR Pharmaceuticals
             Patrick O'Brien, 858-622-5216
             pobrien@avanir.com
             or
             Patrice Saxon, 858-622-5202
             psaxon@avanir.com

    SOURCE: AVANIR Pharmaceuticals