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Sunesis Announces Extension of Collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development


South San Francisco, CA, January 10, 2005 – Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that it has extended its research collaboration with Johnson amp; Johnson Pharmaceutical Research amp; Development, L.L.C. (J&JPRD) through the end of 2005. Initiated in May 2002, the collaboration is focused on the discovery of small molecule enzyme inhibitors targeting Cathepsin S, an enzyme involved in the activation of T-cells. Inhibiting inappropriate activation of T-cells may lead to novel treatments of certain inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

"We look forward to continuing to work closely with J&JPRD to advance our research in discovering small molecule Cathepsin S inhibitors," stated Daniel Swisher, CEO of Sunesis Pharmaceuticals.

Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, Sunesis receives research funding and the potential to receive additional research and development milestone payments, as well as royalty payments upon the advancement and commercialization of small molecule Cathepsin S inhibitors. J&JPRD has an exclusive, worldwide license to products resulting from the collaboration. The specific terms of the collaboration are undisclosed.

About Sunesis Pharmaceuticals
Sunesis is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of small molecule therapeutics for oncology, inflammatory diseases and other unmet medical needs. Sunesis has built a product candidate portfolio through internal discovery and the in-licensing of novel cancer therapeutics. The Company is advancing its product candidates through in-house research and development efforts and strategic collaborations with leading pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies. For further information, visit

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Forward-Looking Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning Sunesis Pharmaceuticals' collaboration with partners and the Company's plans to discover and develop small molecule medicines targeting Cathepsin S. Sunesis may not be successful in the discovery or development of such targets and may not achieve any additional milestones in its partnership with Johnson amp; Johnson PRD.

Statements in this press release regarding Sunesis Pharmaceuticals' business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements can be identified by, among other things, the use of forward-looking language, such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "future," "intends," "may," "plans," "should," "seeks," "potential," "will," or the negative of those terms, or other variations of those terms of comparable language, or by discussions of strategy or intentions. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or suggested in the forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, the ability of Sunesis to: (i) discover product candidates, (ii) successfully conduct preclinical studies and clinical trials of product candidates, (iii) obtain regulatory approval of any product candidates, (iv) obtain and enforce intellectual property rights and (v) collaborate with partners. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release and the company assumes no obligation or responsibility to update or revise the statements. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Registration Statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Eric Bjerkholt
CFO of Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Tel: 650-266-3717

Karen Bergman or Michelle Corral
BCC Partners
Tel: 650-575-1509/415-794-8662