ALZET Osmotic Pumps -
A Brief History

ALZET Osmotic Pumps were developed during the 1970's by ALZA Corporation. They were initially developed for use during internal company research, and for use by some of ALZA's collaborators working at academic institutions. It did not take long for the word to spread about the existence of a novel drug delivery system that allowed for continuous administration of test agents into laboratory animals. The increasing demand for a commercially available continuous drug delivery device for animal research led to the introduction of ALZET pumps into the marketplace in 1977.

ALZET Osmotic Pumps

In April of 2000, the ALZET product line was acquired by DURECT Corporation. DURECT Corporation was founded in 1998 by several individuals, including Dr. Felix Theeuwes, an inventor of the ALZET pump and formerly Chief Scientist and President of Research and Development at ALZA. DURECT's mission is to develop therapies that will improve the quality of life for patients with chronic, debilitating diseases and conditions. To accomplish this goal, DURECT offers a broad range of innovative drug delivery systems that are an essential element to any new controlled-release drug product. DURECT offers sustained release technology platforms that provide delivery of therapeutic candidates from days to years based on the specific therapeutic needs.

Additional information about DURECT and our various drug delivery platforms can be found at

Mailing Address:

DURECT Corporation
ALZET Osmotic Pumps
10260 Bubb Road
Cupertino, CA 95014-4166


Since 1977, scientist around the world have used ALZET pumps to conduct their research, publishing their results in high-impact journals. The ALZET bibliography now contains over 16,000 publications! We can perform a custom search for references relevant to your research.

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What researchers are saying...

“In the majority of studies examining nicotine withdrawal, nicotine was delivered y an osmotic pump... The osmotic pump allows for the continuous delivery of nicotine at a controlled rate for a specified amount of time. An advantage of this delivery protocol is that nicotine levels in the bloodstream remain fairly constant, much like those of human chronic smokers. Discontinuing the delivery of nicotine by removal of the pump or interfering with nicotine’s effect on the central nervous system induces a withdrawal reaction... Accordingly, this experiment sought to replicate previous work using a rodent model of nicotine withdrawal developed by Malin et al. (1992) that has become widely used..., and which implements the osmotic pump as the nicotine delivery mechanism.” Besheer et al., Behavioral Neuroscience 2003;117(2):327-340.