updated 12/28/2010 5:46:42 PM ET 2010-12-28T22:46:42

RALEIGH, N.C., Dec. 28, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- DARA BioSciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:DARA) (the "Company") announced today that it has commenced a registered public offering of up to $4 million of units comprised of shares of Series A convertible preferred stock and warrants to purchase shares of common stock.

The proceeds received by the Company from the offering will be used for the ongoing development of its lead candidates and for working capital and general corporate purposes.

Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc. a subsidiary of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. (NYSE AMEX: LTS), acted as the exclusive the placement agent for this offering. The offering is being made only by means of a prospectus, copies of which may be obtained from Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc., Prospectus Department, 520 Madison Avenue, 9th Floor, New York, New York, 10022, telephone: (212) 409-2000. Electronic copies of the prospectus are available on the Securities and Exchange Commission's Web site at www.sec.gov.

The units are being offered pursuant to an effective registration statement. This news release does not constitute an offer to sell these securities or a solicitation of an offer to buy these securities, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

About DARA BioSciences, Inc.

DARA BioSciences, Inc. is a Raleigh, North Carolina based biopharmaceutical development company that acquires promising therapeutic candidates and develops them through proof of concept in humans for subsequent sale or out-licensing to larger pharmaceutical companies. Presently DARA has two drug candidates with cleared IND (Investigational New Drug) Applications from the United States FDA. The Company has a pipeline of diverse drug candidates at various stages of development, with 82 granted patents and 56 pending applications (US and foreign). The first drug candidate KRN5500 has successfully completed a Phase 2 clinical trial treating neuropathic pain in patients with cancer. KRN5500 met its primary endpoint and was statistically significantly (p=0.03) better than placebo. A second Phase 2 clinical trial is planned during the first half of 2011. In addition, DARA has entered into a Clinical Trial Agreement with the National Cancer Institute to study the prevention and treatment of neuropathic pain in cancer patients. The second drug candidate DB959 is an oral, highly selective, non-thiazolidinedione (TZD), first-in-class dual PPAR (peroxisome proliferator activated receptor) delta/gamma agonist in development for type 2 diabetes. A Phase 1 clinical study has been completed and the positive results were announced earlier this year. A second Phase I is planned to commence in the first quarter 2011 and the Company plans to announce results in the second half of 2011. In addition, DARA owns CPT-1 inhibitors intended for topical application for patients with psoriasis, a library of DDPIV inhibitors and a diverse library of approximately 1800 PPAR agonists of various molecular modalities. PPAR receptors are found throughout the human body and recent publications report that PPAR agonists may be useful in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, cystic fibrosis, liver disease, and a variety of autoimmune diseases. Because its diverse PPAR library has the potential to address the unmet medical needs of these diseases, the Company plans to explore several of these indications.

CONTACT:  Cameron Associates, Inc.
          Kevin McGrath
          212.245.4577
          Kevin@cameronassoc.com

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