DURECT Names Dr. Paula Mendenhall Senior Vice President of Operations

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CUPERTINO, Calif., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — DURECT Corporation
(Nasdaq: DRRX) announced today that Dr. Paula Mendenhall has joined DURECT as
Senior Vice President of Operations. Dr. Mendenhall has over 30 years of
pharmaceutical experience covering areas such as research, manufacturing and
pharmaceutical operations.

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“Dr. Mendenhall is a key addition to our management team as DURECT moves
towards commercial manufacturing. In the past, Paula and I have worked
together in other organizations on a variety of programs, and it is a great
pleasure for me to have the opportunity to work again with Paula. Paula has
already provided valuable guidance as a consultant for DURECT in the second
half of 2004. Going forward, Paula will lead our facility, quality,
compliance and manufacturing efforts at DURECT as we look forward to producing
our first registration batches and preparing for pre-approval inspections for
a number of our development programs,” stated James E. Brown, DVM, President
and Chief Executive Officer of DURECT. “Her insight, leadership and experience
in pharmaceutical operations were instrumental to her successful career at
several pharmaceutical companies and will be extremely valuable to DURECT.”

Prior to joining DURECT, during 1979 to 1997, Dr. Mendenhall served in a
variety of roles for Hoffmann-La Roche Inc./Syntex, including in the areas of
manufacturing, quality assurance, finance, planning and facilities, as well as
provided technical assistance and support to Syntex Global Operations for
marketed products and new product launches. Most recently prior to her joining
DURECT, Dr. Mendenhall was an independent consultant for various
pharmaceutical companies for in-house and outsourcing of pharmaceutical
manufacturing, including development of manufacturing strategies and plans and
development and training of personnel.

Dr. Mendenhall received a Pharm D. degree from the University of
California San Francisco, and is a member of the American Association of
Pharmaceutical Scientists, the American Pharmaceutical Association and the
Society of Cosmetic Chemists.

About DURECT Corporation

DURECT Corporation is an emerging specialty pharmaceuticals systems
company focused on the development of pharmaceutical systems based on its
proprietary drug delivery platform technologies that treat chronic
debilitating diseases and enable biotechnology products. These platform
technologies include the SABER(TM) Delivery System (a patented and versatile
depot injectable useful for protein and small molecule delivery), the
ORADUR(TM) sustained release oral gel-cap technology (an oral sustained
release technology with several potential abuse deterrent properties), the
DURIN(TM) Biodegradable Implant (drug-loaded implant system) and the
MICRODUR(TM) Biodegradable Microparticulates (microspheres injectable system).
DURECT also partners with pharmaceutical companies to develop and
commercialize proprietary and enhanced pharmaceutical products based on its
technologies. DURECT has five disclosed on-going development programs of which
three are in collaboration with pharmaceutical partners. Additional
information about DURECT is available at www.www.durect.com.

NOTE: SABER(TM), ORADUR(TM), DURIN(TM) and MICRODUR(TM) are trademarks of
DURECT Corporation. Other referenced trademarks belong to their respective

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 these products. Further
information regarding these and other risks is included in DURECT’s Quarterly
Report on Form 10Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2004 filed with the SEC
on November 5, 2004 under the heading “Factors that may affect future


CONTACT: Schond L. Greenway
Executive Director, IR and Strategic
Planning of DURECT Corporation,

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/Web site: http://www.www.durect.com /
01/25/2005 07:30 EST http://www.prnewswire.com

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