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Optimer Pharmaceuticals Sponsors ECCMID Symposium on Clostridium Difficile-Associated Disease: Current Treatments and Challenges

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 15, 2008 - Leading world experts in infectious disease will convene on Saturday, April 19th, to discuss the limitations of current and emerging therapies used to combat Clostridium difficile-associated disease (CDAD), also referred to as Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). CDI is recognized as the most common cause of hospital-acquired diarrhea(1).

The educational symposium at the 18th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Barcelona, Spain, will compare current treatment options for CDI and highlight future therapies. The meeting titled, 'Clostridium difficile-Associated Disease: Current Treatments and Challenges' will also address the global and epidemic nature of this potentially fatal disease.

Experts participating in the symposium and their topics include:

-- Carl Erik Nord, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Chair of the symposium and

    Professor of Clinical Microbiology from the Department of

    Laboratory Medicine at the Karolinska University Hospital of the

    Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden

   - Introduction

-- Ed Kuijper, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President of the European Society of

    Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and Professor of

    Medical Microbiology at the Leiden University Medical Centre in

    Leiden, the Netherlands

   - Clostridium Difficile - A Global Epidemic

-- Frederic Barbut, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Infection Control Practitioner

    from the Infection Control Unit at Hopital Saint-Antoine in Paris,


   - Infection Control and the prevention of CDAD

-- Ian R. Poxton, Ph.D., DSc., Professor of Microbial Infection and

    Immunity at the University of Edinburgh College of Medicine and

    Veterinary Medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland

   - Risk Factors and Disease Severity: Implications for Treatment

-- John G. Bartlett, M.D., Co-Chair of symposium and Professor of

    Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University of School of Medicine in

    Baltimore, Maryland

   - Current Treatments for CDAD: Successes and Failures

-- Mark A. Miller, M.D., FRCPC., MSc., Chair of Infection Prevention

    and Control, Chief of the Division of Clinical Microbiology and

    Head of the Division of Infectious Diseases

   - Therapeutics in Development

CDI is a major concern within the international medical community due to the growing incidence, coupled with the spread of hypervirulent strains of Clostridium difficile responsible for more severe disease symptoms(2).

CDI is known to affect approximately 500,000 people in the U.S.(3) and is responsible for one in every 1,000 hospital admissions in Europe(4). CDI is a serious infection of the lining of the colon by Clostridium difficile bacteria, which in severe cases can result in death. Deaths from C. difficile (6,480) surpassed MRSA (1,650) in England and Wales in 2006.

"CDI remains a very serious health concern with increases in incidence and severity reported across the world. With the limitations of current therapies and limited clinical responses, there is a need for better therapeutic alternatives to treat CDI. Optimer is delighted to be working with leading global experts in meeting the challenges of CDI, and to inform ECCMID delegates about the latest advances," said Emmanuelle A. Hugentobler, M.D., Senior Director Medical Affairs, Optimer Pharmaceuticals. -0-

For further information/an invitation to this event please contact:

Resolute Communications                 Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Con Franklin/Miranda Sykes              Christina Donaghy

+44 (0) 20 7015 1354                    (858) 909-0736 ext. 154

+44 (0) 79 7443 4151 (cell)

About Optimer

Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:OPTR), is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing innovative anti-infective products for the treatment of serious infections. Optimer has two late-stage anti-infective product candidates. OPT-80, currently in two pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials, is being developed for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection, the most common hospital-acquired diarrhea. Prulifloxacin, also in two pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials, is an antibiotic being developed for the treatment of travelers' diarrhea, a form of infectious diarrhea. Additional information regarding Optimer can be found at

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 incidence of CDI deaths associated with CDI, and anticipated symposia discussing CDI. 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.

(1) ESGCD, September 2004

(2) McDonald LC, et al. (2005) "An epidemic, toxin gene-variant strain

     of Clostridium difficile". N Engl J Med 353: 2433-41.

(3) Centers for Disease Control

(4) "ESCMID Study Group Report: A European survey of diagnostic

     methods and testing protocols for Clostridium difficile",

     Clinical Microbiology and Infection, Vol. 9 Issue 10: 989,

     October 2003.


Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Christina Donaghy
(858) 909-0736 ext. 154
Resolute Communications
Con Franklin/Miranda Sykes
+44 (0) 20 7015 1354
+44 (0) 79 7443 4151 (cell)

Posted: April 2008