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Avigen Announces Management Changes

ALAMEDA , Calif. (March 27, 2006) – Avigen, Inc. ( AVGN : NASDAQ) today announced that Dawn McGuire , M.D. will be resigning as Chief Medical Officer effective April 12, 2006  for personal health reasons. Drew Jones, M.D. has been appointed Senior Director of Clinical Affairs and Michael Hensley, M.D. will serve as head of Avigen Regulatory Affairs. Dr. McGuire will work with Dr. Jones and Dr. Hensley to ensure a smooth transition.

Dr. Ken Chahine, Ph.D., J.D., Avigen's President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We really appreciate Dawn's significant contributions to Avigen's development progress and extend our best wishes to her. Dawn successfully led the clinical planning efforts for AV650 and AV411 and we look forward to moving these programs into the clinic later this year”

Dr. McGuire commented, “I regret not being able to continue leading Avigen's very promising clinical development programs but am pleased that they will be in the very capable hands of Dr. Jones and Dr. Hensley.”

Drew Jones, M.D., M.P.H., most recently served as Vice President of Clinical Development and Regulatory Affairs for Galileo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he was responsible for leading all clinical development and regulatory strategy. Prior to that, Dr. Jones served as Director of Clinical Development for Alza Corporation (a Johnson and Johnson Company) where he was responsible for the clinical management of all aspects of drug development.

Michael J. Hensley, M.D. has held senior clinical and regulatory positions at Chiron Corporation, Connaught Laboratories , Schering Plough, Pharmacyclics and Quintiles. Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Hensley was a practicing pediatrician and Medical Officer for the Food and Drug Administration.

Dr. Chahine further commented, “Avigen is very fortunate to have the talent and experience of Drew and Mike leading our clinical and regulatory teams. Their proven experience in successfully developing CNS compounds further strengthens Avigen's development capabilities.”

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Contact:  Michael Coffee
Chief Business Officer
Avigen, Inc.
1301 Harbor Bay Parkway ,  Alameda , CA 94502
Tel: 510-748-7372
Fax: 510-748-7155
Internet: mcoffee@avigen.com

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