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Optimer Pharmaceuticals and AstraZeneca Collaborate to Commercialize Fidaxomicin for Clostridium Difficile Infection in Latin America

JERSEY CITY, N.J., Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPTR) announced today the execution of an exclusive agreement with AstraZeneca to commercialize fidaxomicin tablets for the treatment of Clostridium difficile Infection (CDI) in South America, including Brazil, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

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Under the terms of the agreement AstraZeneca is responsible for the commercialization of fidaxomicin in the territory covered by the collaboration and Optimer is entitled to receive an up-front payment of $1 million, up to $3 million in milestone payments upon first commercial sale in certain countries, and up to $19 million in other milestone payments contingent on the achievement of sales-related targets for fidaxomicin in the territory. Optimer is further entitled to receive payments from AstraZeneca that provide a return resulting in a double digit percent of net sales in the territory under a fidaxomicin supply agreement.

"C. difficile infection is a global problem and this collaboration further advances our plans to make fidaxomicin available to patients in need globally," said Pedro Lichtinger, President and Chief Executive Officer of Optimer. "AstraZeneca has the infrastructure and expertise to commercialize fidaxomicin in the diverse range of countries that make up Central and South America, and they will be a strong partner moving forward."

Rich Fante, President, AstraZeneca US and Regional Vice President, Americas, commented on the deal: "We are pleased to partner with Optimer to pursue the regulatory approval and commercialization of fidaxomicin in Latin America.  This product is a good fit with our hospital portfolio and we look forward to the opportunity to provide a new treatment option to patients suffering from this debilitating and sometimes fatal infection."

Fidaxomicin is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) in adults 18 years of age or older in the United States under the trade name DIFICID®.  It is also approved and marketed in Canada by Optimer for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection. In addition, the European Commission granted Marketing Authorization to fidaxomicin for the treatment of adults with Clostridium difficile infection under the trade name DIFICLIR™.

About CDI
CDI is a significant medical problem in hospitals, long-term care facilities and in the community. CDI is a serious illness resulting from infection of the inner lining of the colon by C. difficile bacteria, which produce toxins that cause inflammation of the colon, severe diarrhea and, in the most serious cases, death. Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) is the most common symptom of CDI. Patients typically develop CDI from the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics that disrupt normal gastrointestinal (gut) flora, possibly allowing C. difficile bacteria to flourish. Older patients, in particular, are at risk for CDI, potentially because of a weakened immune system or the presence of underlying disease.

About DIFICID® (fidaxomicin) Tablets
DIFICID is the first macrolide antibacterial drug indicated for Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) to be approved in over 25 years in the U.S.  It is indicated in the U.S. for the treatment of CDAD in adults 18 years of age or older. DIFICID is administered in 200 milligram tablets given orally twice daily.

Important Safety Information for DIFICID
DIFICID is contraindicated in patients with hypersensitivity to fidaxomicin or to any of the excipients in the formulation. DIFICID should not be used for systemic infections. Only use DIFICID for infection proven or strongly suspected to be caused by C. difficile. Prescribing DIFICID in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected C. difficile infection is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug resistant bacteria. The most common adverse reactions are nausea (11%), vomiting (7%), abdominal pain (6%), gastrointestinal hemorrhage (4%), anemia (2%) and neutropenia (2%).

About Optimer Pharmaceuticals
Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative hospital specialty products that have a positive impact on society.  Optimer developed DIFICID® (fidaxomicin) tablets, an FDA-approved macrolide antibacterial drug for the treatment of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) in adults 18 years of age and older and is commercializing DIFICID in the U.S. and Canada.  Optimer also received marketing authorization for fidaxomicin tablets in the European Union where its partner, Astellas Pharma Europe, is commercializing fidaxomicin under the trade name DIFICLIR™.  The Company is exploring marketing authorization in other parts of the world where C. difficile has emerged as a serious health problem, including Asia. Additional information can be found at http://www.optimerpharma.com.

About AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit: www.astrazeneca.com

Forward-Looking Statements
Statements included in this release that are not a description of historical facts are forward-looking statements, including without limitation statements related to the potential availability of fidaxomicin to patients, the potential benefits of the agreement with AstraZeneca, Optimer's potential receipt of milestone and other payments under the agreement with AstraZeneca, and plans to commercialize fidaxomicin globally.  Words such as "believes," "would," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "may," "intend," "will," 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 AstraZeneca and Optimer's businesses including, without limitation, risks relating to: whether regulatory authorities will review or approve applications to market fidaxomicin, the implementation and continuation of the AstraZeneca license agreement, each party's performance of its respective obligations under the license agreement, AstraZeneca's ability to successfully commercialize fidaxomicin in the licensed territory, whether fidaxomicin will receive reimbursement from government authorities and other healthcare payors, whether healthcare professionals will prescribe fidaxomicin, the development of alternative treatments for or means of preventing CDI and other risks detailed in Optimer's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contacts
Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
David Walsey, Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
(858) 964-3418

Canale Communications, Inc.
Jason I. Spark, Senior Vice President
(619) 849-6005

OPTIMER and DIFICID are trademarks of Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

SOURCE Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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