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DR. NILS JOHANNESSON ELECTED VIRATEK INC. PRESIDENT

 COSTA MESA, Calif., May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Nils O. Johannesson, Ph.D., M.D., has been elected president of Viratek Inc. (AMEX: VRA, VRAE), the pharmaceutical development subsidiary of ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc.
 Johannesson also serves as vice president of research and development and new products for SPI Pharmaceuticals Inc., responsible for the company's worldwide research and development, regulatory affairs and licensing activities.
 Prior to joining SPI in April 1992, Johannesson played a major role in the development and launch for Astra Inc. (Sweden) of an inhalation steroid for chronic obstructive lung disease that has become its second largest product worldwide. With Dumex Inc., (Denmark), Johannesson had responsibilities for research and development, production and marketing, which resulted in a reorientation of the pharmaceutical business and in the reorganization of the company's entire research and development unit. As president of Dumex's pharmaceuticals division, Johannesson established new markets in a number of European countries. Johannesson also has served as senior vice president, corporate research and development for AL Labs Inc., a worldwide pharmaceutical company based in New Jersey. Johannesson replaces Roberts A. Smith, Ph.D., who is retiring. Smith remains on the Viratek board.
 A native of Sweden, Johannesson holds a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics and an M.D. in Clinical Pharmacology from Lund University in Sweden.
 Viratek, which specializes in the development and licensing of new pharmaceutical compounds from nucleic acid research, as well as development of biomedical products, is currently conducting multicenter Phase III trials in the United States and Europe with the company's proprietary antiviral Virazole against hepatitis C.
 -0- 5/21/93
 /CONTACT: Paul Knopick of Viratek, 714-545-0100, ext. 2465/
 (VRA VRAE)


CO: Viratek Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU: PER

MS-BP -- LA010 -- 1044 05/21/93 06:00 EDT
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Date:May 21, 1993
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