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

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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

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

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