AVANIR Strengthens Its Sales and Marketing Team

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 6, 2005--AVANIR Pharmaceuticals (AMEX:AVN) today announced that it has appointed Keith Katkin as its Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing and Eric Benevich as its Senior Director, Marketing, to further advance its plans for Neurodex(TM). Neurodex is the company's product candidate currently undergoing New Drug Application review at the Food and Drug Administration for the indication of pseudobulbar affect and being evaluated in a recently initiated Phase III clinical trial in patients with diabetic neuropathic pain. Both of these positions are newly created.

Keith Katkin will lead the team further developing the sales and marketing capabilities of AVANIR. Initially the senior members of the team will be both AVANIR's Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, (David Hansen) and its Vice President, Commercial Development (Gus Fernandez, Pharm. D.) in addition to Eric Benevich and a to-be-recruited Director, National Sales.

Most recently, Mr. Katkin served as the Vice President, Commercial Development for Peninsula Pharmaceuticals, playing a key role in the sale of Peninsula to Johnson & Johnson. Mr. Katkin's product launch and brand management experience on products such as Neupogen, Neulasta, and Biaxin will be especially valuable to AVANIR during its planned transformation into a fully integrated pharmaceutical company. Prior to his tenure at Peninsula, Mr. Katkin held Sales and Marketing positions with InterMune, Amgen and Abbott Laboratories.

Mr. Benevich, most recently Senior Director, Marketing at Peninsula Pharmaceuticals, has over fourteen years of industry experience at Amgen, AstraZeneca, and Astra Merck in various marketing, market research, and sales roles. His extensive launch and brand management experience on products such as Prilosec, Epogen and Enbrel will be especially beneficial to AVANIR as it plans for the launch of its Neurodex product.

AVANIR Pharmaceuticals is a pharmaceutical company 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 disease. AVANIR recently submitted to the FDA the last modules of its "rolling" new drug application for Neurodex(TM) for the treatment of pseudobulbar affect. Additionally, AVANIR has initiated a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter, Phase III clinical trial of Neurodex in patients with diabetic neuropathic pain. Recently, AVANIR partnered its preclinical research and development program for inflammatory disease with Novartis. 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.

Except for the historical information presented herein, matters discussed in this press release contain forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements that are preceded by, followed by, or that include such words like "estimate," "anticipate," "believe," "intend," "plan," or "expect" or similar statements are forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements include, but are not limited to, risks associated with the FDA's review of the Company's new drug application for Neurodex, regulatory decisions by the FDA for the Company's drug candidates, milestones, and royalties earned from licensees, and results of clinical trials or product development efforts, as well as risks described in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and from time-to-time in other publicly available information regarding the Company. Research findings are not always supportable by evidence obtained from subsequent clinical trials, and the Company can make no assurances that clinical trials will yield positive results. Final review decisions made by the FDA and other regulatory agencies concerning clinical trial results are often unpredictable and outside the influence and/or control of the company. The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.


    CONTACT: AVANIR Pharmaceuticals
             Patrice Saxon, 858-622-5202 (Investor Relations)
             psaxon@avanir.com
             or
             FischerHealth Life Sciences
             Aline Schimmel, 212-601-8278 (Media Relations)
             aschimmel@fischerhealth.com

    SOURCE: AVANIR Pharmaceuticals