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Sunesis Pharmaceuticals to Present Data on Clinical-Stage Product Candidates at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research

03/29/06

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March 29, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: SNSS) today announced that the company will present five posters during the upcoming Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) being held in Washington D.C. April 1-5, 2006.

Four of the posters being presented focus on preclinical and clinical data from Sunesis' study of SNS-595, a first-in-class therapeutic that acts selectively through DNA-PK signaling in the S phase of the cell cycle to kill proliferating cancer cells by inducing apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Data from the company's studies of SNS-032, a novel targeted inhibitor of certain cyclin-dependent kinases that are critical in the promotion of cellular growth and function, will also be presented.

Monday, April 3, 2006

    -- SNS-595 has synergistic activity in vitro with DNA-damaging agents and
       antimetabolites
       Abstract Number: 2132
    -- SNS-595 causes selective double-strand breaks during S phase which are
       solely repaired through non-homologous end joining
       Abstract Number: 2074
    -- SNS-032 is a potent and selective inhibitor of CDK 2, 7 and 9 and
       induces cell death by inhibiting cell cycle progression and the
       expression of antiapoptotic proteins
       Abstract Number: 2079
    -- A phase 1 trial of weekly SNS-595 in patients (pts) with refractory
       cancer
       Abstract Number: 2913

    Tuesday, April 4, 2006

    -- SNS-595, a novel S-phase active cytotoxic, exhibits potent in vitro and
       in vivo activities, and has the potential for treating advanced
       hematologic malignancies
       Abstract Number: 4726

    About Sunesis' Oncology Programs

Sunesis has built a portfolio of preclinical- and development-stage product candidates in oncology focused on novel pathways and targets, including inhibition of the cell cycle and survival signaling. Sunesis is currently conducting Phase II and Phase I clinical trials in lung cancer and acute leukemia for its lead compound, SNS-595. SNS-595 is a novel napthyridine analog, a class of compounds not previously used for cancer treatment. SNS-595 acts selectively through DNA-PK signaling in the S-phase of the cell cycle to kill proliferating cancer cells by inducing apoptosis, or programmed cell death. SNS-032 is in a Phase I/II clinical studies to examine the safety and preliminary anti-tumor activity among patients with lung cancer, breast cancer or melanoma. SNS-032 is a potent and selective inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases 2, 7 and 9. Sunesis is currently conducting preclinical studies of its Aurora kinase inhibitor drug candidate, SNS-314. In addition, in cooperation with Biogen Idec, Sunesis is developing novel small molecule inhibitors of Raf kinase and other oncology kinases.

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.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. Sunesis may not actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations contained in such forward-looking statements. Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans, intentions and expectations contained in such forward-looking statements. Sunesis does not assume any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. For further information on Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, please visit http://www.sunesis.com .

SOURCE Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

investors, Eric Bjerkholt, CFO of Sunesis 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.
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