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Avanir Pharmaceuticals Appoints Richard Malamut, MD, as Senior Vice President, Research & Development, and Chief Medical Officer

ALISO VIEJO, Calif., Nov. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that Richard Malamut, MD, has joined the company as senior vice president, research and development, and chief medical officer.

Dr. Malamut will lead a seasoned and experienced team working to expand Avanir from a company with two FDA-approved products – NUEDEXTA® and ONZETRA Xsail® – to a leading CNS company with therapies in several neurological conditions with few, if any treatment options. The company is currently investigating treatments in the areas of agitation in Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia and other neurological conditions.

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Rick Malamut, MD
Rick Malamut, MD

In this capacity, Dr. Malamut will be responsible for the successful development of Avanir's pipeline and will be accountable for leading interactions and negotiations with the FDA and other global regulatory agencies. He will also have strategic and operational responsibilities for the company's research and development function.    

"Richard will play an important role at Avanir as we continue our commitment to develop innovative treatments to address the unmet medical needs of people with CNS disorders," said Rohan Palekar, president and CEO of Avanir. "His background in all stages of product development, from conducting feasibility studies to serving as moderator for FDA Advisory Committee meetings, as well as his expertise in neurology, will be invaluable as we continue our focus on R&D and building our pipeline."

"I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this talented R&D team," said Dr. Malamut. "Avanir's pipeline is focused on addressing difficult CNS disorders that need new treatment solutions, and I am excited to play a role in this important mission."

Dr. Malamut brings more than 17 years of academic and clinical expertise in neurology. Prior to Avanir, he was the senior vice president of global clinical development at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., where he was responsible for directing all aspects within clinical development for the company's pain, oncology and neuropsychiatry products. Prior to that, he had roles of increasing responsibility working in Pain, Psychiatry, and Neurodegenerative disease at Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca, as well as consulting for Avanir, Schwarz Bioscience and Shire Pharmaceuticals. He earned his medical degree from Hahnemann University in Philadelphia and has completed both a neurology residency at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia and EMG/Neuromuscular Disease fellowship at LSU in New Orleans.

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 researches, develops, manufactures and markets innovative and original pharmaceutical products for the treatment of diseases and nutraceutical products for the maintenance of everyday health.

In pharmaceuticals, Otsuka is a leader in the challenging area of mental health and also has research programs on several under-addressed diseases including tuberculosis, a significant global public health issue. These commitments illustrate how Otsuka is a "big venture" company at heart, applying a youthful spirit of creativity in everything it does. Otsuka Pharmaceutical and related companies, employ approximately 31,000 people worldwide. You can visit the company's global website at

Edelman Media Contact
Jessica Donnelly
+1 (323) 202-1051

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SOURCE Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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