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Armand P. Neukermans Appointed to the Board of Directors of DURECT Corporation

CUPERTINO, Calif., March 1 /PRNewswire/ -- DURECT Corporation (Nasdaq: DRRX) announced today the appointment of Armand P. Neukermans Ph.D. to its Board of Directors.

Dr. Neukermans is currently Chief Technical Officer of the Xros division at Nortel Networks. Dr. Neukermans has over 30 years of experience in the field of electrical and mechanical engineering. Since 1964, Dr. Neukermans has held numerous management and senior executive management positions within the research organizations at KLA-Tencor, Hewlett-Packard, Xerox Research Lab and General Electric, among others. He most recently founded Xros, Inc., where he served as Chairman and CTO, which was acquired by Nortel Networks for $3.25 billion in March 2000.

Dr. Neukermans has over 35 publications, and is the inventor or co-inventor of over 55 patents in various fields, with an additional 25 patents pending. Dr. Neukermans holds an Engineer's Degree in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering from Louvain University, a M.S.E.E. from Arizona State University and a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Stanford University.

"Because of his significant entrepreneurial talents, his experience in electronic and mechanical engineering and his successful business career, Dr. Neukermans is a strong addition to our Board of Directors," said Felix Theeuwes, Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer of DURECT. "We are very fortunate to welcome Dr. Neukermans as a Board member as we embark on research and development of the next generation of implantable pharmaceutical systems." The appointment of Dr. Neukermans brings the current DURECT Corporation Board membership to nine.

DURECT Corporation is pioneering the development and commercialization of pharmaceutical systems to deliver the right drug to the right site in the right amount at the right time. DURECT's pharmaceutical systems combine technology innovations from the medical device and drug delivery industries with proprietary pharmaceutical and biotechnology drug formulations. These capabilities can enable new drug therapies or optimize existing therapies based on a broad range of compounds, including small molecule pharmaceuticals as well as biotechnology molecules such as proteins, peptides and genes.

DURECT's lead product in development, DUROS sufentanil, is designed to deliver sufentanil on a continuous basis for 3 months for the treatment of chronic pain. Annual sales of opioids for the treatment of chronic pain are in excess of $1 billion. DURECT's second product, DUROS hydromorphone, is a DUROS-based pharmaceutical system for the delivery of hydromorphone to the spine for the treatment of end-stage cancer pain. DURECT is also selling FDA cleared catheters for the delivery of fluids to the inner ear. DURECT also manufactures, sells and distributes the ALZET(R) osmotic pump product for use in laboratory research.

Founded in 1998, the Company is headquartered in Cupertino, CA. The Company's World Wide Web site can be accessed at To join DURECT's email alert service, please register by selecting "Email Alerts" on the main Investor Relations web page at

DUROS is a registered trademark of ALZA Corporation.

The statements in this press release regarding DURECT's products in development, product development plans, clinical trials, and expected product benefits are forward-looking statements involving risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, DURECT's ability to develop, manufacture and commercialize its products, complete successful clinical trials, obtain product approvals from regulatory agencies, build a manufacturing facility, marketplace acceptance of DURECT's products and DURECT's ability to manage its growth and costs. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in the company's S-1 registration statement, filed with the SEC on September 22, 2000 and its 424(b) prospectus filed with the SEC on September 28, 2000 and its Quarterly Report on Form 10Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2000 filed with the SEC on November 13, 2000.

For further information please contact:

DURECT Corporation

Schond L. Greenway

Director, Investor Relations

Phone: 408-777-1417 SOURCE DURECT Corporation

CONTACT: Schond L. Greenway, Director, Investor Relations of DURECT Corporation, 408-777-1417,