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Sunesis Awarded $244,000 Grant Under the U.S. Qualified Therapeutic Discovery Project Program


SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Nov 02, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX News Network) -- Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNSS) announced today that it has been awarded $244,000 under the IRS Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project (QTDP) program, which was created by Congress as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Sunesis will use the grant to advance the development of its lead program, vosaroxin, as a treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Eligibility for the grant requires that a project: have the potential to develop new treatments that address "unmet medical needs" or chronic and acute diseases; reduce long-term health care costs; or represent a significant advance in finding a cure for cancer.

"This award recognizes vosaroxin's potential as an advancement for the treatment of refractory and relapsed AML, a disease for which there is an enduring unmet medical need," said Daniel Swisher, Chief Executive Officer of Sunesis. "Being acknowledged for the potential to improve cancer treatment is gratifying as we move forward with plans to launch our pivotal Phase 3 trial of vosaroxin in AML, the VALOR trial, in the fourth quarter of this year."

Sunesis expects to receive the amount allocated to them as a cash grant in the near future.

About Sunesis Pharmaceuticals

Sunesis is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of new oncology therapeutics for the treatment of hematologic and solid tumor cancers. Sunesis has built a highly experienced cancer drug development organization committed to advancing its lead product candidate, vosaroxin, in multiple indications to improve the lives of people with cancer.

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding Sunesis' expectations regarding the anticipated use of the proceeds of the award. Words such as "expects," "potential," "will" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon Sunesis' current expectations. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Sunesis' actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of these risks and uncertainties, which include, without limitation, risks and uncertainties related to Sunesis and its business, which will impact Sunesis' ability to use the proceeds of the award for the currently intended uses. Risk factors related to Sunesis and its business are discussed under "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in Sunesis' Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2010 and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Sunesis expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the company's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements are based.

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

Investor and Media Inquiries:
David Pitts
Argot Partners

Eric Bjerkholt
Sunesis Pharmaceuticals Inc.

SOURCE: Sunesis Pharmaceuticals

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