AVI BioPharma Names Dr. Leslie Hudson as Chief Executive Officer

Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:00am EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

PORTLAND, Ore.--(Business Wire)--
AVI BioPharma, Inc. (Nasdaq:AVII), today announced that the
company's board of directors has named Leslie Hudson, Ph.D., as chief
executive officer effective immediately. Dr. Hudson, who also joins
the board as a director, brings more than 20 years of leadership
experience in the biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical industries and
succeeds K. Michael Forrest, who has served as interim CEO for AVI
since March 2007. Mr. Forrest will remain on the board of directors.

   "Following an extensive business evaluation and search for a
well-credentialed executive to direct the commercial development of
our proprietary third-generation antisense NEUGENE(R) technology, we
are pleased to welcome Dr. Hudson as AVI's CEO," said Jack L. Bowman,
chairman of AVI. "We believe Dr. Hudson's proven leadership qualities
and wealth of experience in successful drug development and
commercialization make him the ideal candidate to lead our company at
this critical juncture."

   "I am delighted with this extraordinary opportunity to lead AVI, a
company with novel technology that has exceptional potential for
treating important, unmet medical needs," Dr. Hudson said. "AVI has
embarked on a plan to test and commercialize NEUGENE-based drugs. It
will be my pleasure to work with the board of directors, senior
management and staff at AVI to bring further speed and focus to this
process and thus enhance shareholder value."

   Until January this year, Dr. Hudson served as interim president
and CEO of publicly traded Nabi Biopharmaceuticals where he led the
reorganization and turnaround of the company. His previous industry
appointments included CEO and president of DOV Pharmaceutical Inc., a
publicly traded biopharmaceutical company, and several senior
positions at Pharmacia Corporation, including senior vice president of
research and exploratory development, as well as general manager and
group vice president of the ophthalmology business unit. He previously
worked at Glaxo Wellcome (now GlaxoSmithKline plc) in several senior
positions, including vice president for discovery research.

   Dr. Hudson received his Ph.D. from the Faculty of Medicine at the
Department of Immunology, Middlesex Hospital Medical School,
University of London, and his bachelor's degree in zoology summa cum
laude from the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine,
at the University of London. Dr. Hudson is also an associate of the
Royal College of Science.

   About AVI BioPharma

   AVI BioPharma develops therapeutic products for the treatment of
life-threatening diseases using third-generation NEUGENE antisense
drugs and ESPRIT exon skipping technology. AVI's ESPRIT technology is
initially being applied to potential treatments for Duchenne muscular
dystrophy. AVI's NEUGENE compounds are also designed to treat
cardiovascular restenosis, and aid in coronary artery bypass graft
(CABG) procedures. In addition to targeting specific genes in the
body, AVI's antiviral program uses NEUGENE antisense compounds to
combat disease by targeting single-stranded RNA viruses, including
Marburg virus, Ebola Zaire virus, and H5N1 avian influenza virus. More
information about AVI is available on the company's Web site at
http://www.avibio.com.

   "Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act of 1995: The statements that are not historical facts
contained in this release are forward-looking statements that involve
risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the results of
research and development efforts, the results of preclinical and
clinical testing, the effect of regulation by the FDA and other
agencies, the impact of competitive products, product development,
commercialization and technological difficulties, and other risks
detailed in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

AVI BioPharma, Inc.
Michael Hubbard, 503-227-0554
hubbard@avibio.com
or
Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates Inc. (Investors)
Jody Cain, 310-691-7100
jcain@lhai.com
Bruce Voss, 310-691-7100
bvoss@lhai.com
or
Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Healthcare (Press)
Jenny Moede, 503-443-7000
jmoede@waggeneredstrom.com

Copyright Business Wire 2008
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