AVANIR Pharmaceuticals Holds Annual Meeting of Shareholders at Company Headquarters; All Management Proposals Approved

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 18, 2004--AVANIR Pharmaceuticals (AMEX:AVN) announced today that it received shareholder approval for all five proposals submitted to shareholders at its 2004 annual meeting held at the company's corporate headquarters.

James B. Glavin, Chairman of the Board, reported at the Company's 14th annual meeting that a quorum was present and shareholders approved all proposed resolutions. The proposal to restate the company's Articles of Incorporation to eliminate two classes of stock that no longer exist was approved, as well as a proposal to increase the number of shares of authorized Class A common stock. The Board of Directors received authorization to implement a reverse stock split within a prescribed range over the next twelve months, if deemed to be in the best interest of Company. The shareholders also ratified the selection of Deloitte and Touche, LLP as the company's auditors for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2004.

"We intend to file the necessary documents with the Secretary of State to implement the increase in authorized shares of common stock," said Gerald J. Yakatan, Ph.D., President and CEO of AVANIR Pharmaceuticals. "Although the Board of Directors has received authorization to implement a reverse stock split, we will not be acting on this authorization at this time. We may, however, use this authorization over the next twelve months if it is deemed to be in the best interest of the Company. We thank our shareholders for their thoughtful consideration of the proposals placed before them and for their interest in the future of the company."

Shareholders re-elected three Class III Directors: Dr. Dennis J. Carlo, President of Telos Pharmaceuticals; Kenneth E. Olson, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Proxima Corporation; and Dr. Gerald J. Yakatan, President and Chief Executive Officer of AVANIR Pharmaceuticals. In addition to the three Directors elected at this meeting, the Directors continuing in office include Stephen G. Austin, CPA, Michael W. George, Susan Golding, Charles A. Mathews, Harold F. Oberkfell and James B. Glavin, Chairman of the Board. All of the directors, with the exception of Gerald Yakatan, are independent outside directors.

AVANIR Pharmaceuticals is a drug discovery and development company focused on the development of treatments for chronic diseases. The Company's lead product candidate, Neurodex(TM), is in Phase III clinical development for the treatment of pseudobulbar affect, also known as emotional lability. Neurodex is also in Phase II clinical development for the treatment of neuropathic pain. An internally developed small molecule, AVP-13358, is in a Phase I clinical trial for the treatment of allergy and asthma. Using its proprietary Xenerex(TM) technology, AVANIR also develops human monoclonal antibodies for infectious diseases and other therapeutic applications. The Company's first commercialized product, Abreva(R), is marketed in North America by GlaxoSmithKline 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."

CONTACT: AVANIR Pharmaceuticals
Patrice Saxon, 858-622-5202 (Investor Relations)
psaxon@avanir.com

SOURCE: AVANIR Pharmaceuticals