AVANIR Pharmaceuticals Presents at Roth Capital Partners Growth Stock Conference

SAN DIEGO, Feb 21, 2002 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- AVANIR Pharmaceuticals (Amex: AVN) presented yesterday at Roth Capital Partners' 14th Annual Growth Stock Conference in Dana Point, California. Management's presentation highlighted the milestones AVANIR achieved last year and gave investors an outline of the Company's goals for the year ahead.

Goals achieved recently by AVANIR Pharmaceuticals and its subsidiary company, Xenerex Pharmaceuticals, include significant strategic and financial achievements. AVANIR's FDA-approved product Abreva(TM) (docosanol 10% cream), became the number one pharmacist recommended product in the over-the-counter cold sore category in its first year of sales. According to AC Nielson data, Abreva is the largest selling consumer healthcare product in the United States for the treatment of cold sores and is ranked number eight among all new consumer healthcare products introduced in the twelve month period ended December 2001. AVANIR received its final milestone and its largest royalty revenues to date last quarter from its marketing partner GlaxoSmithKline. AVANIR has expanded its docosanol franchise to include Asia and the Middle-East and intends to file for regulatory approval in Europe and Japan.

Enrollment in AVANIR's Phase II/III clinical trial of Neurodex in the treatment of emotional lability in neurodegenerative diseases is approximately 80% complete. Additional clinical trials of Neurodex are expected to begin later this year. AVANIR has produced a lead compound in its allergy and asthma program and intends to file an investigational new drug application later this year, assuming results from toxicology testing are favorable. In 2001, AVANIR added to its pre-clinical drug pipeline by acquiring a macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) platform technology and is researching small molecule leads in the treatment of inflammation.

Xenerex Biosciences, AVANIR's subsidiary focused on the generation of fully human monoclonal antibodies, is working on development of antibodies to eight targets provided by three partners. Its most recently established research collaboration is with DNAX Research, Inc., a division of the Schering-Plough Corporation. Xenerex has already reported success in moving to the second research stage within the two previous agreements initiated in mid-2001.

AVANIR and Xenerex Biosciences will be presenting at the Genome 2002 Tri-Conference in Santa Clara, California on February 23, 2002, and at the BioSquare 2002 biotechnology conference in Zurich, Switzerland on February 28 and on March 1, 2002.

AVANIR Pharmaceuticals, based in San Diego, is engaged in research, development, commercialization, licensing and sales of innovative drug products and antibody generation services. The company's website is http://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 Annual Report on Form 10-K 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". The commercial sales potential for Abreva is relatively uncertain because it has only recently been introduced into the marketplace. Final review decisions made by the FDA and other regulatory agencies concerning clinical trial results are unpredictable and outside the influence and/or control of the company.

SOURCE AVANIR Pharmaceuticals

CONTACT:
General Information, Kristen McNally,
+1-310-407-6548, kmcnally@webershandwick.com,
or Analyst/Investor, Tricia Ross,
+1-310-407-6540, tross@webershandwick.com,
or Media, Al Orendorff,
+1-312-640-6775, aorendorff@webershandwick.com,
all of FRB Weber Shandwick,
for AVANIR Pharmaceuticals;

or Investor Relations, Patrice Saxon of AVANIR Pharmaceuticals,
+1-858-622-5202, psaxon@avanir.com
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URL: http://www.avanir.com
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