Anavex Appoints Scientific Advisory Board Member With Expertise in Protein Misfolding Neurodegenerative Diseases

NEW YORK, March 5, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Anavex Life Sciences Corp. ("Anavex" or the "Company") (OTCQX:AVXL), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing drug candidates to treat Alzheimer's disease, other central nervous system (CNS) diseases, pain and various types of cancer, today announced the appointment of Corinne Lasmézas, DVM, PhD, to the Company's Scientific Advisory Board. A Professor at The Scripps Research Institute for the past 10 years and multiple TED speaker, Dr. Lasmézas is an internationally recognized expert in the field of neurodegenerative diseases with a focus now on studying the mechanisms of neurodegeneration.

"Corinne has tremendous insight into the implications of protein misfolding in neurodegenerative indications such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and prion diseases and we are excited to welcome her to our Scientific Advisory Board," said Christopher U. Missling, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Anavex. "Corinne's long-standing commitment to new therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative diseases complements our approach, as Anavex continues to advance its lead drug in the current Phase 2a clinical trial for Alzheimer's disease."

Since her appointment at Scripps in 2005, Dr. Lasmézas has focused on how misfolded proteins lead to neuronal dysfunction and loss in diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and prion diseases.

Additionally, Dr. Lasmézas is a reviewer for national and private funding agencies worldwide, including the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the UK Medical Research Council and an advisor for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). She has published more than 60 original scientific papers.

"I am delighted to join the Anavex Scientific Advisory Board alongside an impressive group of industry peers," said Dr. Lasmézas. "Anavex nurtures an extremely interesting pipeline with drugs targeting the sigma-1 receptor, which acts like a 'quality control protein', sending regulatory signals between cellular compartments in reaction to several types of stress conditions. As such, the drug candidates being developed by Anavex may provide benefits in several devastating neurological conditions where treatments are so desperately needed."

Earlier in her career, Dr. Lasmézas' research provided the first experimental evidence that the prion disease "mad cow disease" had been transmitted to humans, causing variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. This fatal disease belongs to the same group of age-related neurodegenerative diseases as Alzheimer and Parkinson's diseases, caused by aggregates of misfolded proteins. At the peak of the mad cow crisis, Dr. Lasmézas became an advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as several governmental and public health committees.

Dr. Lasmézas holds a PhD in Neurosciences from the University Pierre & Marie Curie in Paris and obtained her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and Diploma of Aeronautic and Space Medicine from the University of Toulouse, France.

About Anavex Life Sciences Corp.

Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (OTCQX:AVXL) is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of novel drug candidates to treat central nervous system (CNS) diseases, pain and various types of cancer. The Company's lead drug candidates, ANAVEX 2-73 and ANAVEX PLUS, the combination of ANAVEX 2-73 and donepezil (Aricept®), are currently being evaluated in a Phase 2a clinical trial for Alzheimer's disease. ANAVEX 2-73 is an orally available drug candidate that targets sigma-1 and muscarinic receptors and has successfully completed a Phase 1 study with a clean data profile. Preclinical studies demonstrate its potential to halt and/or reverse the course of Alzheimer's disease. The drug combination, ANAVEX PLUS, produced up to 80% greater reversal of memory loss in Alzheimer's disease models versus when the drugs were used individually. Recent positive preclinical data indicates that ANAVEX 2-73 also exhibits anticonvulsant, anti-amnesic, neuroprotective and anti-depressant properties. Further information is available at www.anavex.com.

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. Actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in any of such statements due to various factors, including the risks set forth in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. 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.

CONTACT: For Further Information Anavex Life Sciences Corp. Research & Business Development Toll-free: 1-844-689-3939 Email: info@anavex.com Shareholder & Media Relations Toll-free: 1-866-505-2895 Outside North America: +1 (416) 489-0092 Email: ir@anavex.com www.anavex.com

Source:Anavex Life Sciences Corp.