AVANIR Pharmaceuticals Subsidiary, Xenerex Biosciences, Presents Technology's Unique Capabilities Today at Bio-Defense and Homeland Security Procurement Conference

SAN DIEGO, Apr 30, 2002 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- AVANIR Pharmaceuticals (Amex: AVN) announced that Philip R. Morrow, Ph.D., the Director of Technology and Principal Scientist at Xenerex Biosciences, presented information on its platform technology at the Bio-Defense and Homeland Security Procurement Conference and Expo held today in Arlington, Virginia. Dr. Morrow described Xenerex's method of generating human monoclonal antibodies and its ability to recall protective antibody responses from individuals previously exposed to diseases that could be useful as a component in a comprehensive bio-defense strategy.

Xenerex Biosciences' technology for the generation of fully human antibodies employs the engraftment of human immune system cells into mice. Following immunization of the mice with the bio-warfare agent, the technology has the potential to capture the protective antibody responses patients have developed via vaccination or non-lethal exposure to certain infectious bio- warfare agents. The Xenerex technology platform may then be able to identify the cells responsible for generating the protective antibodies, and through recombinant technology, express the desired antibody as a monoclonal antibody preparation. The monoclonal antibody may then be used for therapeutic or diagnostic applications.

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) hosted the conference. Bio-defense procurement officials and program managers from the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) were present at the conference and were introduced to various companies and their technologies relating to the development of vaccines and other therapies against bio-warfare attacks.

Xenerex recently submitted a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant proposal to the NIH for the development of a human monoclonal antibody to an infectious disease agent. The application has been accepted for review by the NIH, which typically takes three to six months.

Xenerex Biosciences, a subsidiary of AVANIR Pharmaceuticals, is a biopharmaceutical company with a customer-focused mission to enable partner companies to develop and commercialize completely human antibody products. The company's website is http://www.xenerex.com .

AVANIR Pharmaceuticals, based in San Diego, is a biopharmaceutical drug discovery and development company with an FDA-approved product. AVANIR is engaged in research, discovery development and licensing of innovative drug products and, through its subsidiary Xenerex Biosciences, antibody generation services and antibody product development. 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". In regard to AVANIR Pharmaceuticals and Xenerex Biosciences, risks and uncertainties include risks associated with product discovery and development as well as risks shown in AVANIR's Annual Report on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q and from time-to-time in other publicly available information regarding the companies. Copies of such information are available from AVANIR upon request. Such publicly available information sets forth many risks and uncertainties related to AVANIR's business and technology. Xenerex's monoclonal antibody technology competes with several technologies used by large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and is subject to a number of uncertainties, including risks associated with the success of antibody generation efforts, the progress of research and product development programs, the regulatory approval process, competitive products and future capital requirements. There can be no assurance that such development efforts will succeed, that such products will receive required regulatory clearance, or that even if such regulatory clearance were received, that such products would ultimately achieve commercial success. The companies disclaim any intent or obligations to update these forward-looking statements.

For further information, please 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, Tim Grace, +1-312-640-6667, tgrace@webershandwick.com, all of FRB|Weber Shandwick, for AVANIR Pharmaceuticals; or Patrice Saxon, Investor Relations of AVANIR Pharmaceuticals, +1-858-622-5202, psaxon@avanir.com

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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, Tim Grace,
+1-312-640-6667, tgrace@webershandwick.com, all of FRB|Weber Shandwick, for
AVANIR Pharmaceuticals; or Patrice Saxon, Investor Relations of AVANIR
Pharmaceuticals, +1-858-622-5202, psaxon@avanir.com

URL: http://www.avanir.com
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