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Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium and Sunesis Pharmaceuticals Present Data on SNS-032 at American Association of Cancer Research Annual Meeting


San Diego, CA — April 16, 2008

The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) in collaboration with Sunesis Pharmaceuticals presented preclinical data on the activity of Sunesis' cell cycle inhibitor, SNS-032, in multiple myeloma cell assays and animal models. The data was presented orally at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research.

Suzanne Trudel, MD, Assistant Professor, University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto, Canada, and Project Leader for the MMRC Validation Team, which performed the studies, presented data showing that SNS-032 demonstrated growth inhibitory effects in different multiple myeloma cell lines as well as myeloma cells prepared from patient samples. In addition, SNS-032 demonstrated activity in a transgenic animal model with multiple myeloma characteristics similar to those observed in humans. These studies, resulting from extensive collaborative efforts between the MMRC, Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute and Sunesis demonstrated preclinical, single-agent activity of SNS-032 in multiple myeloma and support its further investigation as a potential therapeutic candidate. SNS-032, a potent and selective inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) 2, 7 and 9, is currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or multiple myeloma.

"Sunesis is proud to collaborate with the MMRC and the Validation Team to advance this important clinical program in the quest for a cure for multiple myeloma. It highlights the importance of collaborations between industry and oncology field experts in order to more rapidly and appropriately evaluate new treatments for cancer therapy," said Rachael Hawtin, PhD, Associate Director, Biology, Sunesis.

The MMRC Validation Team, composed of leading myeloma scientists from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Mayo Clinic-Scottsdale, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and UHN, tests compounds in a variety of multiple myeloma cell-based systems and animal models. The team represents a unique research and development model, typically not included in foundation activities, with the major goal of prioritizing compounds to enter myeloma clinical trials by testing their preclinical activity in myeloma specific systems.

"The team is very encouraged by the success of the first project to enter the MMRC validation model and the selection of this research as an oral presentation at the AACR. The results demonstrate modest single agent activity in mice," says Dr. Trudel.

About the MMRC

The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) is a 509(a)3 non-profit organization that integrates leading academic institutions to accelerate drug development in multiple myeloma. It is led from MMRC offices in Norwalk, Conn., and comprises 15 member institutions: City of Hope, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute, the Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Indiana University, Mayo Clinic, Ohio State University, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, St. Vincent's Comprehensive Cancer Center of Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers of New York, University Health Network (Princess Margaret Hospital), University of Chicago, University of Michigan, University of California, San Francisco and Washington University in St. Louis.

The MMRC was founded in 2004 by Kathy Giusti, a myeloma patient, and with the help of the scientific community. The MMRC is a sister organization to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), the world's leading funder of multiple myeloma research. The MMRC is widely recognized as an optimal research model to rapidly address critical challenges in drug development and to explore opportunities in today's most promising research areas–genomics, compound validation, and clinical trials. The MMRC is the only consortium to join academic institutions through membership agreements, customized IT systems, and an integrated tissue bank. For more information, please visit www.themmrc.org.

CONTACT:

Anne Quinn Young (MMRF)
T. (203) 652-0212
E. quinnyounga@www.themmrf.org