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Apricus Elects Kleanthis G. Xanthopoulos, Ph.D. as New Chairman

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SAN DIEGO, Dec. 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Apricus Biosciences, Inc. ("Apricus" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:APRI) (www.apricusbio.com), today announced that Kleanthis G. Xanthopoulos, Ph.D. has been elected as Chairman of the Company's Board of Directors. Dr. Xanthopoulos succeeds Mr. Rusty Ray in the Chairman role. Mr. Ray will continue to serve as a Director and will assume key roles on the Company's audit, compensation and corporate governance committees of the Board. Dr. Xanthopoulos has been a member of the Apricus Board since 2011.

"I am honored to be elected Chairman of the Apricus Board of Directors during this pivotal point in the Company's evolution," said Dr. Xanthopoulos. "Throughout 2013, Apricus has executed effectively on achieving its key strategic goals, culminating in important regulatory approvals for Vitaros®, a defined regulatory pathway for Femprox® and the potential for significant value creation through the licensing and commercialization of Vitaros® and Femprox®. I look forward to working with management and the Board to strengthen our standing as a leader in the field of men's and women's health, and to ensure the Company continues its record of execution, with the goal of maximizing shareholder value."

Dr. Xanthopoulos is an experienced and visionary leader in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical research industries, with a strong foundation in both operations and corporate development. He is currently President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Regulus Therapeutics Inc. Prior to joining Regulus Therapeutics Inc. in 2007, Dr. Xanthopoulos was the Managing Director of Enterprise Partners Venture Capital. He co-founded Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Inc., served as President and Chief Executive Officer from 2000 to 2006, and remained a Director until its acquisition by Roche in 2011. Before that, Dr. Xanthopoulos was Vice President at Aurora Biosciences (acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals) from 1997 to 2000, and Section Head of the National Human Genome Research Institute from 1995 to 1997. Previously, he was an Associate Professor at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, after completing a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at The Rockefeller University, New York.

An Onassis Foundation Scholar, Dr. Xanthopoulos received his B.Sc. in Biology with honors from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and his M.Sc. degree in Microbiology and Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Stockholm, Sweden. Dr. Xanthopoulos is a member of the board of directors of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and Zosano Pharma Inc., and is a co-founder and a member of the board of directors of Sente, Inc. Additionally, Dr. Xanthopoulos received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Health Sciences in 2006 and was named Most Admired CEO by the San Diego Business Journal in 2013.

About Vitaros®

Vitaros® has been approved for the treatment of ED by the European health authorities and by Health Canada. Vitaros® is a topically-applied cream formulation of alprostadil, a vasodilator, combined with our proprietary permeation enhancer DDAIP.HCl, which directly increases blood flow to the penis, causing an erection. Alprostadil is a widely accepted alternative to the PDE-5 inhibitors for difficult to treat patients, and Vitaros®, which was determined to be safe and effective by the European health authorities and previously by Health Canada, offers greater market opportunity due to its patient-friendly form versus other alprostadil dosage forms and also relative to oral ED products. With nearly 150 million men worldwide who suffer from ED and an ED market size of approximately $1 billion in revenue in Europe alone, Vitaros® represents a major market opportunity for Apricus and its commercial partners given its unique product profile and its potential to treat a large underserved population.

About Femprox®

Femprox® is a product candidate for the treatment of female sexual interest/arousal disorder ("FSIAD"). Seven clinical studies have been successfully completed to date, including one, 98-subject Phase II study in the US and a nearly 400-subject proof-of-concept study in China. To date, no product has been approved in the U.S. to treat FSIAD, a persistent or recurring inability to attain or maintain adequate sexual excitement, causing personal distress.

About Apricus Biosciences, Inc.

Apricus Biosciences, Inc. (APRI) is a pharmaceutical company that develops and markets through its licensing partners, innovative treatments that have the potential to help large patient populations across numerous, large-market therapeutic classes including male and female sexual health. The Company has one approved product, Vitaros®, for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, which is now approved in Europe and Canada and will be commercialized by Apricus' marketing partners, which include Abbott Laboratories Limited, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International GmbH, Hexal AG (Sandoz), Bracco SpA and Laboratoires Majorelle. Femprox®, the Company's product candidate for the treatment of female sexual interest/arousal disorder, has successfully completed a nearly 400-subject proof-of-concept study.

For further information on Apricus, visit http://www.apricusbio.com.

CONTACT: Apricus Investor Relations: David Pitts or Lourdes Catala Argot Partners 212-600-1902 david@argotpartners.com lourdes@argotpartners.com

Source:Apricus Biosciences, Inc.