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Avera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Names Joao Siffert, M.D. As Vice President, Clinical Research And Development

10/19/2005 5:08:52 PM

SAN DIEGO, June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Avera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held pharmaceutical development company focused on medicines for psychiatric and neurologic illnesses, today announced the appointment of Joao Siffert, M.D., as Vice President, Clinical Research and Development. Dr. Siffert joins Avera from Pfizer, where he was employed as a medical director since 2002, where he initially worked in the area of migraine and ultimately headed the worldwide medical team for Lyrica (pregabalin) and Neurontin in the areas of epilepsy and pain. Dr. Siffert's contributions were instrumental for the Phase IIIb and IV clinical program as well as the global product launch.

"Joao Siffert comes to Avera with experience both as a clinical investigator in academic medicine, and as a pharmaceutical physician who has been a medical leader of major CNS (central nervous system) therapeutics at Pfizer," said Jeffrey McKelvy, president and chief executive officer of Avera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "This breadth of background in clinical research is a major asset to Avera's drug development capability."

Prior to joining Pfizer, Dr. Siffert had a distinguished academic career that included positions at Beth Israel Medical Center, where he served as director of their Adult Neuro-oncology program, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he was a faculty member in the department of neurology. He received his M.D. degree from the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine, completed residencies in pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine and in neurology at Harvard Medical School, and held a clinical fellowship in Neuro-oncology at New York University School of Medicine. He also holds an MBA degree from Columbia Business School in New York.

Avera Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Avera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (San Diego, CA) is a private, emerging pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel compounds in the neuroscience therapeutics arena. The Company's mission is to identify opportunities for therapeutic advances in the treatment of neurologic and psychiatric disorders, and to in-license and develop compounds that can meet these needs. Additional information on the Company can be found at

Avera Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

CONTACT: Jeffrey F. McKelvy, President and CEO of Avera Pharmaceuticals,Inc., +1-858-847-0650; or Joan Kureczka of Kureczka

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