DURECT Starts Phase II Dosing for TRANSDUR(TM)-Bupivacaine (DUR-843)

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CUPERTINO, Calif., Jan 03, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ — DURECT Corporation
(Nasdaq: DRRX) today announced that we have started Phase II dosing in the
U.S. under an FDA-accepted Investigational New Drug (IND) application for
TRANSDUR(TM)-Bupivacaine (DUR-843), a transdermal pain patch for patients
suffering from Post-Herpetic Neuralgia (post-shingles pain or PHN). DURECT’s
Phase I trial for TRANSDUR-Bupivacaine, initially reported on December 11,
2006, demonstrated good safety, tolerability and drug release for up to 3
days. TRANSDUR-Bupivacaine is intended to provide up to 3 days of pain relief
for patients suffering from PHN, as compared to a wearing time limited to 12
hours with currently available patches.

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

“The initiation of the Phase II program for TRANSDUR-Bupivacaine is an
important milestone for us,” said James E. Brown, DURECT’s President and CEO.
“Based on our TRANSDUR technology, we believe that the product profile of
TRANSDUR-Bupivacaine represents an improvement over existing pain control
products for patients suffering from PHN.”

DURECT’s Phase II program for TRANSDUR-Bupivacaine has begun with a
randomized, multi-center, double-blind, placebo controlled, two-way crossover
trial in approximately 50 patients with PHN to assess safety as well as the
magnitude, duration and characteristics of analgesic activity of TRANSDUR-

Bupivacaine, the active agent in TRANSDUR-Bupivacaine, is a potent, FDA-
approved long-acting local anesthetic used in regional anesthesia including
infiltration, nerve block, epidural and intrathecal anesthesia. Bupivacaine is
a more potent sodium channel blocker and has a longer duration of action than
lidocaine, the active ingredient for Lidoderm(R), the market leader for post-
herpetic neuralgia pain management.

About DURECT Corporation

DURECT Corporation is an emerging specialty pharmaceutical company focused
on the development of pharmaceutical systems based on its proprietary drug
delivery platform technologies focused on treating chronic and episodic
diseases and conditions. The Company currently has a number of late-stage
pharmaceutical products in development initially focused on significant unmet
medical needs in pain management, with a number of research programs underway
in a variety of other therapeutic areas. For more information, please visit

NOTE: TRANSDUR(TM) is a trademark of DURECT Corporation. TRANSDUR-
Bupivacaine is a drug candidate under development and has not been submitted
or approved for commercialization by the US Food and Drug Administration or
other health authorities.

DURECT Forward-Looking Statement

The statements in this press release regarding DURECT’s products in
development including TRANSDUR-Bupivacaine 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 (and that of its third party collaborators where applicable)
abilities to design, enroll, conduct and complete clinical trials, complete
the design, development, and manufacturing process development of the product
candidate, obtain product and manufacturing approvals from regulatory agencies
and manufacture and commercialize the product candidate, as well as
marketplace acceptance of the product candidate. Further information regarding
these and other risks is included in DURECT’s Form 10-Q dated November 3, 2006
under the heading “Risk Factors.”


Schond L. Greenway, Vice President, Investor Relations and Strategic Planning of
DURECT Corporation, +1-408-777-1417; or media, Jeremiah Hall, Senior Vice President
of Feinstein Kean Healthcare, +1-415-677-2700, or jeremiah.hall@fkhealth.com


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