Pain Therapeutics and DURECT Corporation Announce Exclusive Agreement to Formulate Certain Long-Acting Opioid Drugs

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SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. and CUPERTINO, Calif., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-
FirstCall/ — Pain Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: PTIE) and
DURECT Corporation (Nasdaq: DRRX) today announced they have signed an
exclusive licensing agreement to formulate certain long-acting opioid drugs.
Opioid drugs, sometimes called ‘narcotic painkillers,’ are widely used to
treat moderate to severe pain. In the U.S., the market for opioid drugs
exceeded $3 billion in 2002.

“Patients with severe chronic pain have a compelling need for continuous
pain relief,” said Remi Barbier, president and chief executive officer of Pain
Therapeutics. “Such patients could benefit from long-acting versions of
Oxytrex(TM), our lead drug candidate for severe chronic pain. We intend to
formulate Oxytrex(TM) using DURECT’s gel-cap SABER(TM) technology because we
believe it has the potential to be the best sustained-release technology on
the market. If DURECT’s technology proves itself, we may also develop other
highly innovative long-acting opioid drugs under this agreement.”

Commenting on the agreement, Dr. Felix Theeuwes, chairman and chief
scientific officer of DURECT said, “Our SABER(TM) technology is currently
being explored as a matrix to potentially extend soft gelatin capsule dosage
forms to long-acting products. We look forward to working with the experts at
Pain Therapeutics to develop innovative sustained oral gel-cap products for
the treatment of pain.”

Under the agreement, Pain Therapeutics has exclusive worldwide rights to
develop and commercialize certain opioid drugs formulated with DURECT’s gel-
cap SABER(TM) technology. Pain Therapeutics paid DURECT an undisclosed
upfront fee and will make milestone payments based on the achievement of
certain technical, clinical or regulatory milestones. Pain Therapeutics will
also fund certain formulation activities performed by DURECT and will pay
royalties on sales on products from this agreement.

About Pain Therapeutics, Inc.

We are a medical research company specializing in the discovery and
development of novel proprietary painkillers. We believe our drug candidates,
Oxytrex(TM) and MorViva(TM), may offer more pain relief (with no increase in
side-effects) and lower tolerance/dependence, withdrawal effects or addiction
potential compared to conventional forms of oxycodone and morphine. The
target market for our drugs exceeds $3 billion in the United States. Our
proprietary painkillers are currently in various phases of clinical testing,
including Phase II trials. Pain Therapeutics is traded on NASDAQ under the
symbol PTIE.

About DURECT Corporation

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 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. NOTE: SABER(TM), MICRODUR(TM) and DURIN(TM)
are trademarks of DURECT Corporation.

Pain Therapeutics, Inc. Forward Looking Statement

Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains
forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act of 1995 and it is Pain Therapeutics’ intent that such statements be
protected by the safe harbor created thereby. Examples of such statements
include, but are not limited to, any statements relating to the milestone
payments, formulation of the Company’s drug candidates, the timing of the
Company’s clinical development of its drug candidates, the potential benefits
of the Company’s drug candidates, including any formulation of Oxytrex(TM)
using DURECT’s gel-cap SABER(TM) technology, and the size of the potential
market for the Company’s products. Such statements are based on management’s
current expectations, but actual results may differ materially due to various
factors. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not
limited to, those risks and uncertainties relating to difficulties or delays
in development, testing, regulatory approval, production and marketing of the
Company’s drug candidates, unexpected adverse side effects or inadequate
therapeutic efficacy of the Company’s drug candidates that could slow or
prevent product approval or market acceptance (including the risk that current
and past results of clinical trials are not necessarily indicative of future
results of clinical trials), the uncertainty of patent protection for the
Company’s intellectual property or trade secrets, the Company’s ability to
obtain additional financing if necessary and unanticipated research and
development and other costs. For further information regarding these and
other risks related to the Company’s business, investors should consult the
Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its
Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2001 and its subsequent quarterly
filings. The BUTTERFLY DESIGN/LOGO is a registered trademark of Pain
Therapeutics, Inc.

DURECT Corporation Forward Looking Statement

The statements in this press release regarding DURECT’s and Pain
Therapeutics’ 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 Pain Therapeutics’ 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,
DURECT’s Quarterly Report on Form 10Q 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.”
SOURCE DURECT Corporation; Pain Therapeutics, Inc.

/CONTACT: Christi Waarich, Manager of Investor Relations of Pain
Therapeutics, Inc., +1-650-825-3324, or; or Schond L.
Greenway, Senior Director, Investor Relations and Strategic Planning of DURECT
Corporation, +1-408-777-1417, or

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