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TOPICA Elects G. Kirk Raab as Chairman of the Board

PALO ALTO, Calif., July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- TOPICA Pharmaceuticals today announced that G. Kirk Raab has been elected chairman of the company's Board of Directors.

"As a pre-eminent leader in the biotechnology industry, and as the former chairman of Connetics Corporation and Oclassen Pharmaceuticals, Kirk Raab brings a proven track record of leadership and success to TOPICA, as well as an exceptional knowledge of the dermatology market," said Greg Vontz, president and chief executive officer of TOPICA. "His addition to our Board builds on our team's extensive experience developing and commercializing significant dermatologic products, and we look forward to working with him."

"Greg and I worked together successfully at Genentech and Connetics Corporation, and I look forward to achieving a similar outcome for TOPICA," said Mr. Raab. "The company is poised for success with its experienced board, management team, significant market potential and novel molecule, luliconazole."

Mr. Raab has more than 45 years of pharmaceutical and biotech experience. For the past 14 years, he has been involved in the management and operations of more than 15 biotech companies, for many of which he served as chairman. He served as chairman of Connetics Corporation, a highly successful dermatology company acquired by Stiefel Laboratories, and most recently was chairman of BiPar Sciences, which was acquired by Sanofi-Aventis. From February 1990 to July 1995, Mr. Raab served as president and chief executive officer of Genentech. He originally joined Genentech in February 1985, as president and chief operating officer. Prior to joining Genentech, Mr. Raab worked for Abbott Laboratories for 10 years, most recently as president, chief operating officer and director. He served as the first chairman of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and the California Health Care Institute.

About Luliconazole

Luliconazole, the company's lead product candidate, is one of the most potent and broad spectrum molecules in the imidiazole class of antifungal agents. TOPICA is currently conducting a U.S.-based, Phase 2 trial of luliconazole in patients with tinea pedis (athlete's foot). Tinea pedis is the most common fungal infection of the skin, affecting about one in every 10 people. The company is also developing luliconazole for onychomycosis (nail and nail bed fungal infections). Onychomycosis affects approximately 35 million people in the U.S. Of those affected, an estimated 47 percent are not receiving treatment. The potential annual U.S. market for onychomycosis treatment is estimated at approximately $3 billion. TOPICA has an exclusive license from Nihon Nohyaku Co., Ltd. to develop and market luliconazole in the Americas and Europe.

About TOPICA Pharmaceuticals

TOPICA is a privately-held specialty pharmaceutical company focused on licensing, developing and commercializing potent topical prescription products to treat the needs of patients with serious nail and skin conditions. Taking advantage of its established trans-pacific network of scientific and industry contacts, TOPICA has in-licensed its lead product candidate, luliconazole, a topical antifungal agent that is already on the market in Japan. TOPICA is developing luliconazole for the treatment of tinea pedis (athlete's foot) and onychomycosis (nail and nail bed fungal infections). For more information, please visit http://www.topicapharma.com.

SOURCE TOPICA Pharmaceuticals

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