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Optimer Pharmaceuticals Receives Polymorph Patent for Lead Product Candidate OPT-80

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

San Diego, CA -- Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: OPTR) announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued U.S. Patent No. 7,378,508 entitled "Polymorphic Crystalline Forms Of Tiacumicin B." This patent includes claims covering a novel polymorphic form of the active pharmaceutical ingredient in the investigational drug candidate, OPT-80. The patent specifically claims the Form A polymorph of OPT-80, as well as all dosage forms and pharmaceutical compositions including the Form A polymorph of OPT-80. OPT-80 is currently in two Phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection, or CDI, also known as C. difficile-associated disease, or CDAD.

"The issuance of this polymorph patent is an important milestone in strengthening the intellectual property protection of our lead product candidate, OPT-80," said Michael N. Chang, Ph.D., President and CEO of Optimer. "Our scientists have determined that polymorphic Form A is the most stable crystalline form of OPT-80. We believe this patent, along with additional pending patent applications, will enhance our intellectual property protection for OPT-80."

OPT-80 is a first in-class narrow spectrum antimicrobial agent with excellent activity against many clostridia including C. difficile and moderate activity against certain gram-positive bacteria. OPT-80, with its narrow spectrum profile, may eradicate C. difficile selectively with minimal disruption to the normal intestinal flora. This may facilitate the return of the normal physiological condition in the colon and reduce the probability of CDI recurrence.

About Optimer Pharmaceuticals

Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 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 Optimer’s intellectual property position and the timing of clinical trials and anticipated results thereof. 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: maintaining intellectual property positions, patent litigation, 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.

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