NUCRYST Pharmaceuticals appoints a new director

    PRINCETON, NJ, Jan. 16 /CNW/ - Thomas E. Gardner, Chairman, announced
today that G. A. (Drew) Fitch has been appointed to the NUCRYST
Pharmaceuticals' Board of Directors.
    Mr. Fitch is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Westaim
Corporation ("Westaim"), NUCRYST's controlling shareholder, holding
approximately 75% of NUCRYST's outstanding common shares. Prior to his
appointment as President and Chief Executive Officer of Westaim in 2007, Mr.
Fitch had been Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Westaim
since 1997. Before joining Westaim, Mr. Fitch was Senior Vice President and
Chief Financial Officer of Western Star Trucks Holdings Ltd., a manufacturer
of city transit buses and highway trucks, and Senior Vice President, Finance &
CFO of Canadian Airlines Corporation, an international airline company.
    "The addition of Drew Fitch to the NUCRYST Board of Directors adds a
seasoned director and will help us to coordinate our priorities with Westaim,"
said Tom Gardner. "On behalf of the Board, we extend to Drew a warm welcome",
added Gardner.

    About NUCRYST Pharmaceuticals

    NUCRYST Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:   NCST; TSX: NCS) develops, manufactures
and commercializes medical products that fight infection and inflammation
using SILCRYST(TM), its patented atomically disordered nanocrystalline silver
technology. NUCRYST licensed world-wide rights for SILCRYST(TM) wound care
coating products to Smith & Nephew plc, which markets these products in over
30 countries under their Acticoat(TM) trademark. NUCRYST is also developing
pharmaceutical products to address medical conditions that are characterized
by pain, infection and inflammation. The Company has developed its proprietary
nanocrystalline silver in a powder form, referred to as NPI 32101 for use in
medical devices and as an active pharmaceutical ingredient.

    Acticoat(TM) is a trademark of Smith & Nephew plc
    SILCRYST(TM) is a trademark of NUCRYST Pharmaceuticals Corp.

    This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning
of securities legislation in the United States and Canada (collectively
"forward-looking statements"). Forward-looking statements in this news release
include, but are not limited to, statements about the coordination of our
priorities with Westaim. With respect to the forward-looking statements
contained in this news release, readers are cautioned that numerous risks,
uncertainties and other factors could cause our actual results to differ
materially from those indicated in these statements including, but not limited
to: Westaim's stated intention to review its alternatives for maximizing the
value of its stake in NUCRYST; the identification and pursuit of new
opportunities to grow the value of NUCRYST; performance of stock markets
generally; our ability to satisfy regulatory and stock exchange standards and
requirements to maintain our exchange listing; our future operation results
are uncertain and likely to fluctuate; our ability to maintain our
collaboration with Smith & Nephew; our reliance on sales of Acticoat(TM)
products with our SILCRYST(TM) coatings by Smith & Nephew; and the future
financial performance and operating performance of Smith & Nephew. Although we
have attempted to identify the important risks, uncertainties and other
factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from
those expressed or implied in forward-looking statements, there may be other
factors that cause actual results or events to differ from those expressed or
implied in forward looking statements. For a more thorough discussion of the
risks associated with our business, see the "Risk Factors" section in our
Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 and in our
Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2008, filed
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on EDGAR at and
with securities authorities in Canada on SEDAR at All
forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this
cautionary statement and NUCRYST disclaims any intention or obligation to
revise or update any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new
information, future developments or otherwise after the date hereof.

    %SEDAR: 00023031E

For further information:

For further information: David B. Holtz, Vice President and Chief
Financial Officer, NUCRYST Pharmaceuticals, (609) 228-8202; Fern Lazar, Lazar
Partners, (212) 867-1762

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