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ACUROX(R) Tablets New Drug Application Accepted For Filing With A Priority Review Classification

About Acura Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Acura Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company engaged in research, development and manufacture of product candidates intended to provide abuse deterrent features and benefits utilizing the Company's proprietary Aversion ® and Impede Technologies, and other novel technologies. Acura entered into a License, Development and Commercialization Agreement with King (a wholly owned subsidiary of King Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) in October 2007 pursuant to which Acura and King would jointly develop ACUROX ® Tablets (with and without niacin) and three additional opioid analgesic product candidates utilizing Aversion® Technology. On October 11, 2010, King entered into an agreement and plan of merger with Pfizer Inc. and on January 31, 2011 Pfizer announced the closing of the tender offer and that the completion of its acquisition of King through a short-form merger would occur on or about February 28, 2011. Upon completion of the merger, King will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pfizer.

The Acura Pharmaceuticals, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=4847

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Act"). When used in this press release, the words "intend," "expect," "believe" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Examples of forward-looking statements in this press release include statements concerning, among other items: our expectations regarding interaction with the FDA; the provision of additional information to the FDA relating to the ACUROX ® NDA; the ability to address the potential review issues raised by the FDA in its letter of acceptance to the satisfaction of the FDA; the adequacy of the clinical studies included in the ACUROX ® NDA; and the abuse limiting capabilities of ACUROX ® and Aversion ® Technology. Acura Pharmaceuticals, Inc. disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements, and claim the protection of the Safe Harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Act. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Important factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements are discussed in the "Risk Factors" section and other sections of the Acura's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009, and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2010, each of which is on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

ACUROX and AVERSION are registered trademarks of Acura Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

CONTACT: Acura Pharmaceuticals:
         Peter Clemens, SVP & Chief Financial Officer
         847-705-7709

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