ANAVEX appoints Dr. Cameron Durrant Executive Chairman of the Board

Jan 19, 2010, 09:00 ET from Anavex Life Sciences Corp.

GENEVA, Switzerland, Jan. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Anavex Life Sciences Corp. ("ANAVEX") (OTCBB: AVXL) today announced the appointment of Dr. Cameron Durrant as Executive Chairman of its Board of Directors.

"ANAVEX is both pleased and privileged to welcome Dr. Durrant to this position," said Dr. Herve de Kergrohen, CEO of ANAVEX. "Dr. Durrant is a medically trained MBA who has a unique entrepreneurial background coupled with major international pharmaceutical and small company CEO experience. His credentials add significant strength to ANAVEX and we are confident that Dr. Durrant will help guide us as we work to aggressively execute our business plan."

Dr. Durrant will work with management and the Board on executing the pre-clinical and clinical development plans for the ANAVEX pipeline, corporate and business development, investor/public relations and prepare ANAVEX to relocate its corporate headquarters to the USA.

"This is an exciting time for ANAVEX and I welcome the opportunity to contribute to the company's continued growth," said Dr. Durrant. "ANAVEX's novel SIGMACEPTOR technology platform offers great potential for both central nervous system and cancer applications. In particular, ANAVEX 2-73, the company's lead drug candidate for Alzheimer's disease, is about to enter Phase I clinical trials and offers hope as a novel oral disease modification agent that is believed to act at several levels, including the mitochondria."

Dr. Durrant has held executive positions at major global pharmaceutical companies, including Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK), GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) and Pharmacia Corporation (now part of Pfizer, Inc.) (NYSE: PFE). Most recently, Dr. Durrant spent almost three years as Worldwide Vice President, Infectious Diseases, Global Strategic Marketing at Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ). He has also been CEO of two specialty pharmaceutical companies, PediaMed and Spherics.

Dr. Durrant was a regional winner and national finalist for Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2005. He holds an MBA from Henley Management College in Oxford, U.K., a DRCOG from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in London, U.K., a MRCGP from the Royal College of General Practitioners in London, U.K., a DipCH from the Australian Academy, Melbourne, Australia and an MB and BCh (equivalent to the American MD degree) from the Welsh National School of Medicine in Cardiff, U.K.

About Anavex Life Sciences Corp.

Anavex Life Sciences Corp. ( is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of novel drug candidates for the treatment of cancer and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's, epilepsy and depression. The company's proprietary SIGMACEPTOR(TM) Discovery Platform involves the rational design of drug compounds that fulfill specific criteria and are targeted to specific receptors involved in the modulation of multiple cellular biochemical signaling pathways.

ANAVEX's SIGMACEPTOR(TM)-N program involves the development of novel and original drug candidates that target neurological and neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, depression, pain). The company's lead drug candidates exhibit high, non-exclusive affinity for sigma receptors, which have been extensively documented as potentially valuable drug targets and have demonstrated evidence for anti-amnesic and neuroprotective properties. The company is developing non-amyloid focused approaches to disease modification in Alzheimer's disease. ANAVEX 1-41 and ANAVEX 2-73 modulate sigma receptors, a unique class of receptor molecules, to guard against oxidative stress and work through mitochondrial pathways. So far the compounds have performed extremely well in well-recognized animal models of Alzheimer's disease, underscoring the promise of the company's new alternative approach to the disease.

ANAVEX's SIGMACEPTOR(TM)-C program involves the development of novel and original drug candidates targeting cancer. The company's lead drug candidates exhibit high, non-exclusive affinity for sigma receptors with strong evidence for selective pro-apoptotic, anti-metastatic and low toxicity properties in various types of solid cancers. ANAVEX 7-1037 has already demonstrated its ability to significantly delay the growth of cancerous tumors in patient-derived xenografts during advanced pre-clinical studies.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical in nature are forward-looking statements. These statements are only predictions based on current information and expectations and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements in this press release include that our drug compounds show promise to combat certain diseases. Actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in any of such statements due to various factors, including the risks and uncertainties inherent in drug discovery and development, which include, without limitation, the potential failure of development candidates to advance through preclinical studies or demonstrate safety and efficacy in clinical testing and the ability to file an IND or commence clinical studies. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. This caution is made under the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and Anavex Life Sciences Corp. undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.

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