Jon S. Saxe Appointed to the Board of Directors of DURECT Corporation

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CUPERTINO, Calif., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — DURECT Corporation
(Nasdaq: DRRX) announced today that the company has appointed Jon S. Saxe to
its Board of Directors to replace James R. Butler who stepped down as a member
of the Board of Directors in June 2003. Mr. Saxe will begin in his new
capacity immediately. The appointment of Mr. Saxe maintains the current DURECT
Corporation Board membership at eight.

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“Jim Butler served DURECT very well during the past formative years with
his 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. Saxe is a strong addition to our Board, and we are proud and
fortunate to have someone of Jon’s experience and capability to serve on our
Board,” continued Dr. Theeuwes. “The wealth of industry knowledge, leadership
and extensive experience that Jon brings from his years as an executive at
Protein Design Labs and Hoffman-LaRoche will be of great value to our Board.”

Mr. Saxe is presently a Director of numerous biotechnology and
pharmaceutical companies including Protein Design Labs, Incyte Genomics, First
Horizon Pharmaceuticals, SciClone, Questcor, InSite Vision, ID Biomedical
Corporation and several private companies.

From January 1995 to May 1999, Mr. Saxe was President of Protein Design
Labs Inc., a leading company in the development of humanized antibodies.
During 1999, he was an Executive-in-Residence at Institutional Venture
Partners, a venture capital firm. Mr. Saxe served as President of Saxe
Associates, a biotechnology and pharmaceutical consulting firm, from May 1993
to December 1994. He served as President, Chief Executive Officer and as a
Director of Synergen, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, from October 1989 to
April 1993. From August 1984 through September 1989, Mr. Saxe was Vice
President, Licensing and Corporate Development at Hoffmann-LaRoche and also
head of the patent law department and Associate General Counsel at the company
from September 1978 through September 1989. Mr. Saxe received his B.S. in
Chemical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University, a J.D. from George
Washington University School of Law and an LL.M. from New York University
School of Law.

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 lead product in development, the
CHRONOGESIC(R) (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).

trademarks of DURECT Corporation.

The statements in this press release regarding DURECT’s products in
development and product development plans 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, manage relationships with third parties, 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, 2002 filed with the
SEC on March 14, 2003, DURECT’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter
ended June 30, 2003 filed with the SEC on August 8, 2003 and other periodic
reports filed with the SEC under the heading “Factors that may affect future

CHRONOGESIC(R) is under development by DURECT and has not been submitted
or approved for commercialization by the US Food and Drug Administration or
other health authorities.


Schond L. Greenway
Senior Director
Investor Relations and
Strategic Planning of DURECT Corporation
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