David R. Hoffmann Appointed to the Board of Directors of DURECT Corporation

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CUPERTINO, Calif., Dec. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ —
DURECT Corporation (Nasdaq: DRRX) announced today that the company has
appointed David R. Hoffmann to its Board of Directors to replace Matthew V.
McPherron who is stepping down as a member of the Board of Directors.

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

“Matt McPherron has served DURECT very well during the past formative
years with his experience in corporate finance and operating industry
experience. We are grateful for his service and dedication over the past four
years and wish him continued success,” stated Dr. Felix Theeuwes, Chairman and
Chief Scientific Officer of DURECT.

“Mr. Hoffmann is a strong addition to our Board and we are proud and
fortunate to have him serve,” continued Dr. Theeuwes. “The industry
knowledge, insights and extensive experience in pharmaceutical company
financial operations that Dave brings from his years of service at ALZA will
be of great value to both our Board and our Audit Committee.”

In 2002, Mr. Hoffmann retired from ALZA Corporation where his most recent
position was Vice President and Treasurer. Mr. Hoffmann has over 30 years of
experience in the finance and accounting fields and has held numerous
management and senior executive management positions at ALZA. Mr. Hoffmann
has been with ALZA for more than 25 years where his principal areas of
responsibility include serving as a strategist and manager of cash portfolios,
an executive or financial officer of related companies and subsidiaries,
implementation of corporate financing arrangements, and organizing and
establishing international companies. Mr. Hoffmann is currently Chief
Executive Officer of Hoffmann Associates, a multi group company specializing
in cruise travel and financial and benefit consulting.

Mr. Hoffmann holds a B.S. in Business Administration (accounting emphasis)
from the University of Colorado. He has also served as a member of the Board
of Directors of several ALZA subsidiaries including ALZA Development Company,
ALZA Ireland Holdings Ltd., Therapeutic Discovery Corporation and Crescendo
Pharmaceutical Corporation. Mr. Hoffmann will begin in his new capacity
immediately. The appointment of Mr. Hoffmann maintains the current DURECT
Corporation Board membership at eight.

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).

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. Other trademarks referred to
belong to their respective owners.

The statements in this press release regarding DURECT’s products in
development and product development plans and projected financial results, 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 ability to complete the design, development, and manufacturing
process development of its products, manufacture and commercialize its
products, obtain product and manufacturing approvals from regulatory agencies,
manage its growth and expenses, finance its activities and operations, as well
as marketplace acceptance of DURECT’s 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,
DURECT’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30,
2002 filed with the SEC on November 14, 2002 and other periodic reports filed
with the SEC under the heading “Factors that may affect future results.”


-0- 12/27/2002

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

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

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