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Sunesis Pharmaceuticals Enters Research and License Agreement With University of California, San Francisco

04/17/06

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., April 7, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: SNSS) today announced that the company has entered into a research and license agreement with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

Under the terms of the agreement, UCSF is granted a limited license to utilize Sunesis' fragment-based drug discovery technology Tethering(R), for academic purposes. UCSF intends to leverage Sunesis' technology to identify novel small molecule drug candidates. In return, Sunesis receives an exclusive royalty-free license to any improvements to the Sunesis technology or fragment libraries that emerge from UCSF's research. In the event that any small molecules are discovered using Sunesis' technology, Sunesis will have a right of first negotiation to in-license the compounds. UCSF is precluded from utilizing the technology for commercial purposes and from conducting research in the kinase field or on any other drug target on which Sunesis is currently working.

"Through this license we have created a win-win arrangement between UCSF and Sunesis. The arrangement enables Dr. James Wells, our founder who now heads up the Small Molecule Discovery Center at UCSF, to extend the application of Tethering into new areas of drug discovery, such as the identification of novel sites and inhibitors of allosteric sites on promising drug targets," said Daniel N. Swisher, Sunesis' President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are excited that we will continue to benefit from Dr. Wells' scientific creativity and drive."

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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