Sunesis Pharmaceuticals to Present Non-Clinical Data at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., April 09, 2008, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that the company will present data on each of its clinical-stage anticancer compounds at the upcoming Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) being held April 12-16 in San Diego, CA. Sunesis has built a portfolio of product candidates in oncology focused on novel pathways and targets, including inhibition of the cell cycle and survival signaling.

Data from non-clinical studies of SNS-595, SNS-032 and SNS-314 will be presented in five posters and one oral presentation during the AACR Meeting. New insights on the mechanism of action and anticancer activity of SNS-595, Sunesis' lead compound, will be featured on Monday, April 14, 2008. SNS-595 is a novel naphthyridine analog structurally related to quinolones, a class of compounds which has not been used previously for the treatment of cancer. SNS-595 both selectively intercalates DNA and inhibits topoisomerase II, resulting in replication-dependent DNA damage, irreversible G2 arrest and rapid apoptosis. A Phase 2 single agent clinical trial of SNS-595 in ovarian cancer and a Phase 1b combination clinical trial with cytarabine in relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia are both ongoing.

    SNS-595 Poster Presentations

    Monday, April 14, 2008

    -- SNS-595 is a potent anti-tumor agent that has a dual mechanism of

       action: DNA intercalation and site-selective topoisomerase II poisoning

       Session: Stress Responses

       Abstract #1860

       8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Exhibit Hall B-F, San Diego Convention Center

    -- Sensitivity to SNS-595 is related to activation of double strand DNA

       break repair pathways including homologous recombination

       Session: Stress Responses

       Abstract #1859

       8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Exhibit Hall B-F, San Diego Convention Center

    -- Ex vivo activity of SNS-595 against biopsies of acute myeloid leukemia,

       triple negative breast and ovarian cancers supports ongoing and

       potential clinical indications

       Session: Novel Drug Targets, Agents and Mechanisms

       Abstract #2830

       1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Exhibit Hall B-F, San Diego Convention Center


Suzanne Trudel, MSc, M.D., Assistant Professor, Princess Margaret Hospital, University Health Network, will provide an oral presentation on SNS-032's preclinical activity in multiple myeloma as part of a minisymposium on Tuesday, April 15, 2008. In addition, translational research data detailing the relationship between SNS-032's mechanism and its activity in certain types of cancer will be presented in a poster. SNS-032, a potent and selective inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases 2, 7 and 9, is being evaluated in a Phase 1 clinical trial in patients with relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia or multiple myeloma.

    SNS-032 Oral Presentation

    Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    -- SNS-032, a potent and selective CDK2, 7 and 9 inhibitor, demonstrates

       preclinical activity in human multiple myeloma

       Minisymposium: Novel Genomic Approaches, Drugs, Targets, and Strategies

       Abstract #4972

       4:55 p.m. to 5:10 p.m. Room 30A-C, San Diego Convention Center


    SNS-032 Poster Presentation

    Sunday, April 13, 2008

    -- SNS-032, a novel inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases 2, 7, and 9,

       blocks transcription of cyclin D1 and Mcl-1, causing cell death in

       mantle cell lymphoma cell lines

       Session: Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors and Cell Cycle Inhibitors

       Abstract #756

       8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Exhibit Hall B-F, San Diego Convention Center


Preclinical data providing new details on SNS-314's anti-tumor activity will be presented Wednesday, April 16, 2008. SNS-314, a potent and selective pan-Aurora kinase inhibitor, is being studied in a Phase 1 dose-escalating clinical trial in patients with advanced solid tumors.

    SNS-314 Poster Presentation

    Wednesday, April 16, 2008

    -- SNS-314, a potent inhibitor of Aurora kinases, has preclinical

       anti-activity and induces apoptosis

       Session: Heat Shock Protein Inhibitors, Aurora Kinase and other Mitotic

       Inhibitors

       Abstract #5648

       8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Exhibit Hall B-F, San Diego Convention Center


About Sunesis Pharmaceuticals

Sunesis is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel small molecule therapeutics for oncology and other serious diseases. Sunesis has built a broad product candidate portfolio through internal discovery and in-licensing of novel cancer therapeutics. Sunesis is advancing its product candidates through in-house research and development efforts and strategic collaborations with leading pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies. For additional information on Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, please visit http://www.sunesis.com.

SUNESIS and the logo are trademarks of Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

CONTACT: Investors, Eric Bjerkholt, SVP, Corp. Development & Finance ofSunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., +1-650-266-3717; or Media, Karen L. Bergman,+1-650-575-1509, or Michelle Corral, +1-415-794-8662, both of BCC Partners,for Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Web site: http://www.sunesis.com/

Ticker Symbol: (NASDAQ-NMS:SNSS)

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Posted: April 2008

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