DURECT Corp. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on two areas of active drug development: New therapeutics based on its proprietary drug delivery platforms and new chemical entities derived from its epigenomic regulator program. Its drug development expertise is being applied primarily to the fields of pain management, central nervous system disorders, acute organ injury and metabolic diseases such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease/nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Late-stage development programs include POSIMIR (SABER-bupivacaine) and REMOXY (ORADUR-oxycodone). DURECT's epigenomic regulator program includes the lead molecule DUR-928 in Phase 1 development. DUR-928 is an endogenous small molecule that modulates lipid homeostasis, inflammation and cell survival.

Expert Comments:

Grant Zeng, Zacks Small-Cap Research (2/15/17)
"We are especially optimistic about DURECT Corp.'s epigenomic regulator DUR-928, which holds great market potential for multiple indications, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease/nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and acute kidney injury; multiple Phase 2 trials will be initiated in 2017. We continue to be positive about the company's story." -Zacks Small-Cap Research

Len Yaffe, Stoc*Doc Partners (12/20/16)
"Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. is the third recent deal in the NASH space and points to the potential value of drugs in development for this disease. I continue to highlight DURECT Corp., whose DUR-928 looks very promising albeit in early stage clinical trials. The market capitalization of DRRX is $175 million."

"The recent weakness in pharmaceutical stocks (iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index [IBB] and VanEck Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF [PPH] down 10% and 9%, respectively, in the last month) affords an excellent buying opportunity in select names with promising pipelines, including DURECT Corp." read more >

Grant Zeng, Zacks Equity Research (11/1/16)
"We are especially optimistic about DURECT Corp.'s epigenomic regulator DUR-928, which holds great market potential for multiple indications, including NAFLD/NASH and acute kidney injury. Multiple Phase II trials will be initiated in late 2016 or early 2017. . .we think DUR-928 is the most important program for Durect and the key value driver for the company in the long run. . .these preliminary results from the low dose cohort are especially encouraging in our view. . .the reduction of these biomarkers plus results from the company's animal and cell culture studies suggest potential therapeutic activity of DUR-928."

Jim Molloy, Laidlaw & Company (11/1/16)
"DURECT Corp. announced encouraging preliminary data last night in their Phase 1b chronic NASH study. . .first patient study treated with lowest dose of DUR-928 showed reduction liver function and injury biomarkers after only 12 hours. . .DRRX also reported two new animal studies suggesting potential therapeutic potential in fibrotic and cholestatic liver disease bringing their total to 10 different animal disease models. With DRRX still on track to read out two Phase 1b trials with IND filings in 4Q16 for both liver (NASH) and kidney, as well as Posimir data in 4Q17 for Phase 3 on postsurgical pain relief, we reiterate our Buy rating."

Ram Selvaraju, Rodman & Renshaw (11/1/16)
"DURECT Corp. reported 3Q16 financial results and a clinical update on its lead candidate in the epigenomic regulator program, DUR-928. . .a single dose of DUR-928 have provided signals of activity through biomarkers in both cirrhotic and non-cirrhotic NASH patients in the low-dose cohort of the Phase 1b study, suggesting potential therapeutic activity in NASH and other liver diseases. . .management mentioned that DUR-928, at this low dose, has shown better potency than they have expected. . .DUR-928 could demonstrate more pronounced efficacy at a higher dose with a benign safety profile in the ongoing and future trials."

With a trifecta of share-moving milestones anticipated in Q4/16, including possible FDA approval of abuse-resistant opioid Remoxy, Laidlaw & Co. Analyst Jim Molloy sees blue sky ahead for DURECT Corp.
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The FDA's recent Complete Response Letter for Remoxy, which is licensed by DURECT to Pain Therapeutics, has not changed the view of several analysts who follow DURECT. They are focused on DUR-928 for NASH and impaired kidney function, indications that are of great interest to Big Pharma.
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More Expert Comments

Experts Following This Company

Chen Lin What Is Chen Buying? What Is Chen Selling?
Jim Molloy, Analyst – Laidlaw & Company
Ram Selvaraju, Managing Director; Head of Healthcare Equity Research – Rodman & Renshaw
Len Yaffe, Fund Manager, analyst, MD – Stoc*Doc Partners
George Zavoico, Senior Equity Analyst – JonesTrading
Grant Zeng, Senior Biotech Analyst – Zacks Investment Research, Zacks Small-Cap Research

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Investing Highlights
DUR-928, in Phase 1, is an Endogenous Small Molecule with Compelling Animal Data
Two Late Stage Pain Products Addressing Large Markets
Company Holds the WW Rights to DUR-928 and POSIMIR
catalyst Calendar