DURECT Corporation and Voyager Pharmaceutical Corporation Sign Development and Commercialization Agreement to Develop Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease

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CUPERTINO, Calif., Jul 29, 2002 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ — DURECT
Corporation (Nasdaq: DRRX) and Voyager Pharmaceutical Corporation announced
today that the two companies have signed a development and commercialization
agreement to develop Voyager’s patented product, using leuprolide acetate for
the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Voyager owns the patent rights to the use
of a broad class of drugs for the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20020717/DRRXLOGO )

Alzheimer’s disease is an incurable, neurodegenerative disorder that affects
over 4 million Americans. This disease is a huge unmet medical problem that
typically leads to progressive memory loss, impairments in behavior and
language, and physical deterioration. The market potential for Alzheimer’s
disease treatments is estimated to be in excess of $10 billion.

Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will develop a product using
DURECT’s DURIN(TM) technology to provide a sustained release therapy based on
Voyager’s patented method of treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Under the
agreement, Voyager has the rights to commercialize the product on a worldwide
basis. DURECT will receive payments upon the achievement of certain development
and regulatory milestones, payments for research and development expenditures,
as well as royalties based on the product sales.

“We are excited to partner with Voyager to develop its proprietary treatment for
such a debilitating disease and we applaud Voyager’s identification of such an
innovative method of treatment. We believe this product exemplifies the
opportunities available to us to harness our proprietary drug delivery platforms
such as our DURIN technology to develop novel therapeutics, as we continue to
broaden our CNS franchise,” stated Dr. Felix Theeuwes, Chairman and Chief
Scientific Officer of DURECT.

“After an extensive search for a development partner, we are pleased to
collaborate with DURECT,” stated Patrick S. Smith, President & CEO of Voyager
Pharmaceutical. “We are very impressed with the company’s experienced management
team, the breadth and depth of its development capabilities and the performance
of its DURIN technology. With the scientific leadership of Dr. Theeuwes and
DURECT’s experience in controlled drug delivery, they are clearly the best
partner to work with us to develop this product to treat patients suffering from
Alzheimer’s disease.”

DURECT’s DURIN biodegradable implant technology is a platform for parenteral
delivery of drugs for periods of weeks to six months or more. The technology is
based on the use of biodegradable polymer excipients, which have a proven record
of safety and effectiveness in approved drug delivery and medical device

DURECT Corporation (www.www.durect.com) 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 lead product in development, the CHRONOGESIC(TM)
(sufentanil) Pain Therapy System is a 3-month product for the treatment of
chronic pain. DURECT owns three proprietary drug delivery platform technologies,
including the SABER(TM) Delivery System (a patented and versatile depot
injectable useful for protein delivery), the MICRODUR(TM) Biodegradable
Microparticulates (microspheres injectable system) and the DURIN(TM)
Biodegradable Implant (drug-loaded implant system).

Voyager Pharmaceutical is a privately-held specialty pharmaceutical company
based in Raleigh, NC that is applying novel thinking to the pathogenesis of
diseases of aging. Its proprietary approach applies a new understanding of the
role of gonadotropins in Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases. In 2001 Voyager
was awarded a broad patent to treat Alzheimer’s disease with any
antigonadotropin pharmaceutical. In vitro and in vivo science supports this
treatment methodology. The Alzheimer’s disease product is part of a broad class
of compounds that Voyager has identified to treat multiple diseases of aging.

NOTE: CHRONOGESIC(TM) is a trademark of DURECT Corporation. SABER(TM),
MICRODUR(TM) and DURIN(TM) are trademarks of Southern BioSystems, Inc., a wholly
owned subsidiary of DURECT Corporation.

The statements in this press release regarding DURECT’s and Voyager’s products
in development, product development plans and potential opportunities, are
forward-looking statements involving risks and uncertainties that can 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 and Voyager’s abilities to research, develop, manufacture and
commercialize these products, obtain product and manufacturing approvals from
regulatory agencies, timely enroll patients and clinical sites in connection
with clinical studies, effectively administer clinical trials, and protect
intellectual property rights, as well as marketplace acceptance of these
products. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in
DURECT’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2001
filed with the SEC on March 28, 2002, under the heading “Factors that may affect
future results,” and other periodic reports filed with the SEC.


Schond L. Greenway, Senior Director, Investor Relations and
Strategic Planning of DURECT Corporation, +1-408-777-1417, or
schond.greenway@durect.com; or Seth H. Shaw, Senior Vice President of Voyager
Pharmaceutical Corporation, +1-919-846-4880, or sshaw@voyagerpharma.com

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