RALEIGH, N.C., Feb. 23, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- DARA BioSciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:DARA), a Raleigh, North Carolina biopharmaceutical drug development company, has been selected by MDB Capital Group as a 2011 "Best & Brightest" company and a "Company to Watch." "Being chosen as a 'Best & Brightest' (BB) Company is recognition of the extraordinary work we are doing in developing new medicines to treat some of the most life-threatening diseases and debilitating chronic conditions, which we hope will result in a healthier tomorrow. Everyone at DARA BioSciences is honored by our company's selection," said Richard A. Franco, CEO/President of DARA BioSciences. Prior to co-founding DARA BioSciences in 2003, Mr. Franco was co-founder of LipoScience, Inc., senior strategist for a multi-national pharmaceutical giant, and an entrepreneur. Christopher Marlett, CEO of MDB Capital Group, commended the DARA BioSciences management team by saying, "The Company's imbedded IP value and demonstrated innovation places it in the top 10% of the approximately 1500 technology companies trading below $500MM in market value as ranked by our proprietary IP intelligence database called PatentVest. Our research has shown that this elite group of companies demonstrating above average PatentVest metrics, such as PatentVest Tech Score and the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of patent applications, has significantly outperformed their publicly traded peers. In addition, companies in this group have demonstrated higher margins and more sustained growth." A link to the PatentVest report can be found at MDB Capital Group's website at www.mdb.com . DARA currently has two drugs in clinical development that have the potential to help people with cancer and diabetes. KRN5500 has successfully completed a Phase 2 study for the treatment of neuropathic pain and is in partnership with the National Cancer Institute to study the treatment and prevention of chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy in cancer patients. DB959 has completed its first Phase I clinical study and plans to start a second in Q1 2011 for the treatment of type 2 diabetes potentially without having the side effects from other medicines now being used.