Optimer Pharmaceuticals Appoints Robert L. Zerbe, M.D. to its Board of Directors

Optimer Pharmaceuticals Appoints Robert L. Zerbe, M.D. to its Board of Directors

SAN DIEGO, CA - Dec. 3, 2009 - Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:OPTR) today announcedthat Robert L. Zerbe, M.D., has joined the company's Board of Directors and will be an active member of the company's compensation committee.  Dr. Zerbe brings to the Board more than 25 years of pharmaceutical development experience including general management, global clinical research and development, clinical trial design and management, and regulatory affairs.

Dr. Zerbe currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and President at QuatRx Pharmaceuticals, a private biopharmaceutical company he co-founded in 2000. Prior to QuatRx, he served as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Clinical Research and Development at Parke-Davis, during which time he oversaw the successful development programs for Lipitor®, Neurontin®, and other products. Prior to joining Parke-Davis, he held a variety of research and development positions, including Vice President of Clinical Investigation and Regulatory Affairs at Eli Lilly and Company in the U.S. and U.K. Dr. Zerbe earned his medical degree at Indiana University and received his post graduate training in internal medicine, endocrinology and neuroendocrinology at Indiana University and the National Institutes of Mental Health.
"Dr. Zerbe's broad industry and regulatory expertise will be invaluable as we continue to advance our fidaxomicin and PruvelTM product candidates from clinical development to potential approval and commercialization," said Michael N. Chang, Ph.D., President and CEO of Optimer.
About Optimer Pharmaceuticals
Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing innovative anti-infective products to treat serious infections and address unmet medical needs. Optimer has two late-stage anti-infective product candidates under development. Fidaxomicin, formerly known as OPT-80, is the only antibiotic therapy currently in Phase 3 worldwide clinical development for Clostridium difficile infection. PruvelTM (prulifloxacin) is an antibiotic which has completed two Phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment of infectious diarrhea in travelers.  Additional information can be found at http://www.optimerpharma.com.
Forward-looking Statements
Statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts are forward-looking statements, including without limitation all statements related to the anticipated development of Optimer's product candidates and the role of Dr. Zerbe at Optimer. Words such as "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "intend," "will," "goal" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The inclusion of forward-looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by Optimer that any of its plans will be achieved. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in this release due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in Optimer's business including, without limitation, risks relating to: the timing, progress and likelihood of success of its product research and development programs, the timing and status of its preclinical and clinical development of potential drugs and other risks detailed in Optimer's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
John Prunty, CFO & VP, Finance                      
Christina Donaghy, Corporate Communications Manager
Porter Novelli Life Sciences
Jason I. Spark, Vice President

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