Michael D. Casey Appointed to the Board of Directors of DURECT Corporation

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CUPERTINO, Calif., Mar 23, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ — DURECT Corporation
(Nasdaq: DRRX) announced today the appointment of Michael D. Casey to its
Board of Directors to replace John L. Doyle who left the Board in November
2003. The appointment of Mr. Casey maintains the current DURECT Corporation
Board membership at eight.

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

“We would like to thank John Doyle for his valuable guidance to DURECT
over the past several years as DURECT transitioned from a private to a public
company. His extensive experience and knowledge about public company
operations, human resources and corporate strategy were greatly appreciated.
His dedication will be missed, and we wish him continued success,” stated
Dr. Felix Theeuwes, Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer of DURECT.

Mr. Casey has 36 years of pharmaceutical industry experience including
25 years of commercial experience at Johnson and Johnson companies where he
served as the President of McNeil Pharmaceuticals during his last four years
with the corporation. After leaving Johnson and Johnson, Mr. Casey served as
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Genetic Therapy, Inc. from
1993 until 1994 and served later as Chairman, President and Chief Executive
Officer of Matrix Pharmaceuticals from September 1997 until March of 2002.

Mr. Casey is currently a Director of a number of biotechnology and
pharmaceutical companies including Bone Care International, Inc., Cholestech
Corporation, Sicor, Inc., Allos Therapeutics, and Celgene Corporation.

“Mike Casey is a strong addition to our Board of Directors with his
extensive commercial experience in big pharma, drug delivery and biotech
companies,” continued Dr. Theeuwes. “Mike’s wealth of industry knowledge,
leadership, and experience will significantly contribute to DURECT’s future
growth and expansion.”

About DURECT Corporation

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 is
CHRONOGESIC(R), a 3-month product for the treatment of chronic pain. DURECT
also owns three proprietary drug delivery platform technologies, including the
SABER(TM) Delivery System (a patented and versatile depot injectable useful
for protein and small molecule delivery), the MICRODUR(TM) Biodegradable
Microparticulates (microspheres injectable system) and the DURIN(TM)
Biodegradable Implant (drug-loaded implant system) upon which DURECT is
developing a pipeline of other products.

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, 2003 filed with the
SEC on March 11, 2004, DURECT’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and other
periodic reports filed with the SEC under the heading “Factors that may affect
future results.”


Schond L. Greenway, Executive Director, IR and Strategic
Planning of DURECT Corporation, +1-408-777-1417
/Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20020717/DRRXLOGO
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org


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