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Avanir Pharmaceuticals Announces Appointment of Rohan Palekar as President and Chief Executive Officer

ALISO VIEJO, Calif., Jan. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced the appointment of Rohan Palekar as president and chief executive officer. Mr. Palekar joined Avanir in March 2012 as senior vice president and chief commercial officer and was promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer in March 2015. Mr. Palekar replaces Keith A. Katkin, who has served as president and CEO since March 2007 and will transition to the board of directors for Avanir.

"After nearly a decade of serving as Avanir's president and CEO, I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished and how much we have grown, transitioning from a development to a commercial organization," said Mr.  Katkin. "During that time, we have had the opportunity to help thousands of patients who suffer from Psuedobulbar Affect (PBA) and develop a strong pipeline. I am very pleased to be transitioning to this new role and handing the reins to Rohan, a passionate and innovative leader who has a 20-year track record in managing and growing organizations and brands and has made significant contributions since joining Avanir over three years ago. I look forward to continuing to be involved in the company in my new role serving as a member of Avanir's board of directors."

"I am excited by the opportunity to lead Avanir as we continue to successfully commercialize our first FDA-approved product, NUEDEXTA, transition to a two-product company with the potential near-term approval of our migraine candidate, AVP-825, and advance the development of our pipeline of products for CNS disorders," said Mr. Palekar. "This pipeline is key to achieving our vision of becoming a leading specialty CNS company and helping patients suffering from a wide range of CNS disorders."

Mr. Palekar has more than 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry in drug development and commercialization. In his prior position as EVP and chief operating officer for Avanir, he led the commercial, finance and IT, legal affairs, human resources, business development and corporate communications functions. Prior to joining Avanir, Mr. Palekar was chief commercial officer for Medivation, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing drugs in oncology and neuroscience. Prior to Medivation, he spent 16 years at Johnson & Johnson in various senior commercial and strategic management roles, including worldwide vice president of immunology and vice president of sales and marketing at Centocor. Mr. Palekar received an M.B.A. from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College and a B.A./B.S. in law and accounting from the University of Bombay.

About Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on bringing innovative medicines to patients with central nervous system disorders of high unmet medical need. As part of our commitment, we have extensively invested in our pipeline and are dedicated to advancing medicines that can substantially improve the lives of patients and their loved ones. For more information about Avanir, please visit

Avanir is a subsidiary of Otsuka America, Inc. (OAI), a holding company established in the U.S. in 1989. OAI is wholly owned by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a global healthcare company with the corporate philosophy: 'Otsuka-people creating new products for better health worldwide.'

Otsuka Pharmaceutical is a leading firm in the challenging area of mental health and also has products and research programs for several under-addressed diseases including tuberculosis, a significant global public health issue. These commitments illustrate more powerfully than words how Otsuka is a "big venture" company at heart, applying a youthful spirit of creativity in everything it does.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical and its affiliates employ approximately 30,000 people globally, and the company welcomes you to visit its global website at:

Avanir® is a trademark or registered trademark of Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

©2016 Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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SOURCE Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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