SAN DIEGO, March 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Apricus Biosciences, Inc. ("Apricus Bio" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:APRI) ( www.apricusbio.com ) today announced the appointment of Richard W. Pascoe as Chief Executive Officer of the Company, effective March 18, 2013. Mr. Pascoe brings to Apricus Bio over 20 years of experience in corporate strategy as well as product development, sales and marketing in the biopharmaceutical industry, and has held positions of increasing responsibility at leading, innovative life science companies, including Somaxon Pharmaceuticals, ARIAD Pharmaceuticals and King Pharmaceuticals. In addition to his role as CEO, he has also joined the Company's Board of Directors. With Mr. Pascoe's appointment, Steve Martin, Interim Chief Executive Officer, will resume his responsibilities as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. "Richard has a proven record of setting and executing on value-building corporate strategy. His experience covers international strategic partnerships as well as product development, commercialization, sales and marketing," said Rusty Ray, Chairman of the Board. "This background will be key to the successful execution of Apricus Bio's strategy as we enter a transformative period for the Company. We look forward to Richard's insights and direction at this pivotal time, as we advance the development and commercialization of Vitaros® and Femprox® in markets around the world." Mr. Pascoe commented, "Apricus Bio has set itself apart as an innovator in male and female sexual health, addressing markets with significant commercial potential that are vastly underserved by products currently marketed in those indications. I am eager to join the team and build upon the significant progress made to date in developing and commercializing these novel products in markets around the world." Mr. Pascoe joins Apricus Bio from Somaxon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he was Chief Executive Officer since August 2008. At Somaxon, Mr. Pascoe was responsible for the FDA approval and successful commercialization of the Company's lead drug Silenor ® and its recent sale to Pernix Therapeutics. Prior to Somaxon, Mr. Pascoe was with ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of oncology product candidates, where he was most recently Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In that role, and in his previous role as ARIAD's Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Pascoe played a key role in developing and managing the implementation of ARIAD's corporate strategies. Prior to joining ARIAD in 2005, Mr. Pascoe held a series of senior management roles at King Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company, including Senior Vice President positions in both marketing and sales, as well as Vice President positions in both international sales and marketing and hospital sales. Prior to King, Mr. Pascoe was in the commercial groups at Medco Research, Inc. (which was acquired by King), COR Therapeutics, Inc., B. Braun Interventional and The BOC Group. Mr. Pascoe served as a Commissioned Officer with the U.S. Army 24th Infantry Division, including as an advisor to the Brigade Commander during Operation Desert Storm. Mr. Pascoe received his B.S. degree in Leadership Studies from the United States Military Academy at West Point.