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Sunesis Pharmaceuticals Receives Milestone Payment from Biogen Idec

12/07/05

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Dec 07, 2005 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: SNSS), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel small molecule therapeutics, has received a $500,000 milestone payment from Biogen Idec (Nasdaq: BIIB) relating to the discovery of novel Raf kinase inhibitors for the treatment of cancer.

"We are pleased by the continued progress being made by our teams and the joint research committee in the advancement of kinase inhibitors toward the clinic," said Daniel Swisher, Sunesis' Chief Executive Officer. "This program is proceeding on course and we anticipate selecting the first safety assessment candidates from this collaboration next year."

In September 2004 the companies entered into a collaboration to discover and develop small molecule cancer therapeutics targeting kinases, a family of cell signaling enzymes that play a major role in the progression of cancer. The milestone payment was triggered by identifying compounds with specific predetermined pre-clinical characteristics.

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 .

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains 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.

SOURCE Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

investors, Eric Bjerkholt, CFO of Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., +1-650-266-3717; or
media, Karen L. Bergman or Michelle Corral both of BCC Partners, +1-650-575-1509 or
+1-415-794-8662, for Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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