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Sunesis Announces New Data on Voreloxin for Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Ovarian Cancer Will Be Presented at ASCO
Date:5/26/2009

-- Conference Call Scheduled for Monday June 1 at 1:00 PM ET to Discuss ASCO Data Presentations --

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., May 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: SNSS), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of new oncology therapeutics, today announced that updated interim data from the Company's ongoing Phase 2 clinical trials in frontline acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and platinum-resistant ovarian cancer and its Phase 1b/2 clinical trial in relapsed/refractory AML will be presented during the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2009 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, which begins May 29, 2009. Following are the details on each of these data presentations.

               Saturday May 30, 8:00AM to 12:00PM (poster presentation)
               Abstract #7048
               Title: "A phase II study of voreloxin as single agent therapy
               for elderly patients (pts) with newly diagnosed acute myeloid
               leukemia (AML)."
               Location: Level 2, West Hall C
               Board #M2

               Sunday May 31, 2:00PM to 6:00PM (poster presentation)
               Abstract #5559
               Title: "A phase II trial of voreloxin in women with
               platinum-resistant ovarian cancer."
               Location: Level 2, West Hall C
               Board #M18

               Monday June 1, 10:30AM (oral presentation)
               Abstract #7005
               Title: "Phase Ib/II pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD)
               study of combination voreloxin and cytarabine in relapsed or
               refractory AML patients."
               Location: Level 2, West Hall F1

Additionally at the ASCO 2009 Annual Meeting, Sunesis will be presenting clinical data on SNS-314, a novel and selective pan-Aurora kinase inhibitor. Details of this presentation are below.

               Saturday May 30, 8:00AM to 12:00PM (poster presentation)
               Abstract #2536
               Title: "A phase I trial of SNS-314, a novel and selective
               pan-aurora kinase inhibitor, in advanced solid tumor patients."
               Location: Level 2, West Hall C
               Board #A7

All of these presentations will be available on the Sunesis website at www.sunesis.com on the same day each is presented.

Conference Call Information

Sunesis management, joined by voreloxin clinical investigators, will host a conference call to discuss the voreloxin clinical data presented at the ASCO 2009 Annual Meeting on Monday June 1, 2009, at 1:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. PT. Individual and institutional investors can access the call via 1-877-856-1961 (U.S. and Canada) or +1-719-325-4787 (international). To access the live audio webcast or the subsequent archived recording, visit the "Investors and Media - Calendar of Events" section of the Sunesis website at www.sunesis.com. The webcast will be recorded and available for replay on the company's website until June 15, 2009.

About Voreloxin

Voreloxin is a first-in-class anticancer quinolone derivative, or AQD, a class of compounds that has not been used previously for the treatment of cancer. Voreloxin both intercalates DNA and inhibits topoisomerase II, resulting in replication-dependent, site-selective DNA damage, G2 arrest and apoptosis. Voreloxin is currently being evaluated in a Phase 2 clinical trial (known as the REVEAL-1 trial) in previously untreated elderly AML patients and in a Phase 1b/2 clinical trial combining voreloxin with cytarabine for the treatment of patients with relapsed/refractory AML, as well as in an ongoing Phase 2 single-agent trial in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.

About Acute Myeloid Leukemia

AML is a rapidly progressing cancer of the blood characterized by the uncontrolled proliferation of immature blast cells in the bone marrow. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society estimates that over 13,000 new cases of AML were diagnosed and approximately 9,000 deaths from AML occurred in the U.S. during 2007. AML is generally a disease of older adults, and the median age of a patient diagnosed with AML is about 67 years. A majority of elderly patients are not considered candidates for standard induction therapy or decline therapy, resulting in an acute need for new treatment options.

About Ovarian Cancer

In the United States, ovarian cancer remains the leading cause of death from gynecologic malignancies and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death overall in women behind lung, breast, colorectal and pancreatic cancers. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2008 there were an estimated 21,650 new cases and more than 15,000 deaths from ovarian cancer in the U.S. alone. Following frontline treatment, recurrence rates among ovarian cancer patients are high. Treatment options remain limited following relapse, and overall long-term survival has not changed significantly over the past 40 years, with five-year survival rates at less than 30 percent.

About Sunesis Pharmaceuticals

Sunesis is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of new oncology therapeutics for the treatment of solid and hematologic cancers. Sunesis has built a highly experienced cancer drug development organization committed to advancing its lead product candidate, voreloxin, in multiple indications to improve the lives of people with cancer. For additional information on Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, please visit http://www.sunesis.com.

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

    Investor Contact:                          Media Contact:
    Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.              Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
    Eric Bjerkholt                             Dan Weinseimer
    650-266-3717                               650-266-3739


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SOURCE Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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