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DURECT Corporation Announces Promotions of Officers

CUPERTINO, Calif., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- DURECT Corporation (Nasdaq: DRRX) announced today that Judy Magruder has been promoted to the position of Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Development and Tai Wah Chan, Ph.D. has been promoted to Vice President of Pharmaceutical Research and Development effective September 1, 2001.

"We are pleased to announce the promotion of these two individuals for their outstanding contributions to DURECT. Ms. Magruder has led the development efforts of the Chronogesic(TM) product and has been pivotal to the great progress and success made by the program to date as demonstrated by the positive results we announced recently with respect to the Phase II clinical trial. This promotion also recognizes Ms. Magruder's exemplary achievements and leadership skills in building and organizing the infrastructure in Regulatory Affairs, Quality Assurance, Clinical Affairs, and Development departments at DURECT," stated Jim Brown, CEO of DURECT Corporation. "Ms. Magruder's extensive experience in pharmaceutical development is an asset to the DURECT team as we move ChronogesicTM into Phase III clinical trials and to further develop and commercialize products DURECT currently has in the research phase."

Ms. Magruder has served as DURECT's Vice President of Regulatory and Development since February 2000. From March 1999 to February 2000, Ms. Magruder served as DURECT's Executive Director of Regulatory and Product Development. Ms. Magruder's background includes a B.S. in Animal Science from the University of California, Davis and an M.B.A. from Santa Clara University. Ms. Magruder is an inventor on 45 issued US patents in the field of drug delivery.

"We are pleased to announce the promotion of Tai Wah Chan to Vice President of Pharmaceutical Research and Development. This promotion is in recognition of Dr. Chan's major contributions in building DURECT's Research and Development team as well as his leadership in the successful creation of proprietary drug formulations at DURECT," stated Felix Theeuwes, Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer of DURECT. "We are very fortunate to have Dr. Chan at DURECT with his many years of experience in pharmaceutical research, Dr. Chan and his team will be vital components in developing formulations for our DUROS(R) and SABER(TM) programs."

Dr. Chan has over 20 years of experience in the areas of drug discovery research, preformulation, formulation and analytical research. Dr. Chan joined DURECT in November 1999 as Executive Director of Pharmaceutical Research. Dr. Chan's background includes a B.S. in Chemistry and Physics from the University of Hong Kong and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Chicago. He also did postdoctoral research at the Chemistry Department, University of California, Santa Barbara and the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Kansas. Dr. Chan's expertise includes physical characterization of solids and semi-solids, chemical reactivity, polymorphism, chemical microscopy and ultramicro analysis.

DURECT Corporation is pioneering the development and commercialization of pharmaceutical systems for the treatment of chronic debilitating diseases and enabling biotechnology-based pharmaceutical products. DURECT's goal is 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 focuses on the treatment of chronic diseases including pain, CNS disorders, cardiovascular disease and cancer. In addition to holding an exclusive license from ALZA Corporation to develop and commercialize products in selected fields based on the DUROS(R) implant technology, DURECT also owns multiple proprietary drug delivery platforms including SABERTM, a patented and versatile depot technology and the IntraEAR(R) catheters which have been used by physicians to treat inner ear disorders.

Founded in 1998, DURECT 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 .

Chronogesic(TM), SABER(TM) and IntraEAR(R) are trademarks of DURECT Corporation. DUROS(R) is a trademark of ALZA Corporation.

The statements in this press release regarding DURECT's clinical trials, products in development, product development teams and plans, expected product benefits, potential product markets or anticipated spending and results of operations, 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 successfully complete clinical trials, develop, manufacture and commercialize its products, obtain product and manufacturing approvals from regulatory agencies, validate and qualify a manufacturing facility and manage its growth and expenses, as well as marketplace acceptance of DURECT's products. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in DURECT's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2001 filed with the SEC on August 14, 2001, and Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2000 filed with the SEC on March 30, 2001, under the heading "Factors that may effect future results."


CONTACT: Schond L. Greenway, Senior Director, Investor Relations and Strategic Planning of DURECT Corporation, +1-408-777-1417, or