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Sunesis Pharmaceuticals Announces Milestone Payment from Inflammation Collaboration
Date:2/20/2008

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Feb. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: SNSS) today announced that it has earned a preclinical milestone payment from Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C. (J&JPRD) under the companies' drug discovery collaboration agreement.

The two companies entered into a research collaboration in May 2002 to discover oral small molecule enzyme inhibitors for the treatment of major chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The recent milestone payment was triggered by J&JPRD's selection of a compound targeting the Cathepsin S enzyme as a development candidate. Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, Sunesis has the potential to receive additional development milestone payments from J&JPRD, as well as royalty payments based on future product sales.

"We believe that a small molecule inhibitor of Cathepsin S will provide a useful approach to treating certain inflammatory conditions and we are pleased by J&JPRD's advancement of a compound from our collaboration into development," said Bob McDowell, Ph.D., Vice President of Research at Sunesis.

About Cathepsin S

Cathepsin S is an enzyme involved in the activation of immune system T-cells. Inhibiting inappropriate activation of T-cells may lead to novel treatments of certain inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

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-
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SOURCE Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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