SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., May 30, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:SNSS) today announced the publication of a peer-reviewed paper in Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy featuring the Company's lead product candidate, vosaroxin. In addition to an overview of the chemistry, pharmacokinetics and clinical development of vosaroxin, including the ongoing Phase 3 VALOR and Phase 2/3 LI-1 trials, the paper explores the potential advantages of vosaroxin over anthracycline therapy, including overcoming resistance mechanisms, more site-selective DNA damage, and reduced formation of DNA adducts and reactive oxygen species resulting in better tolerability. The paper, entitled "Vosaroxin: a new valuable tool with the potential to replace anthracyclines in the treatment of AML?" is expected to be published in the July 2013 (Volume 14, Number 10) issue of the print publication and is currently available online ( click here to link). "As the authors note, despite new understanding of the biology and genetics of acute myeloid leukemia, outcomes for patients remain poor and the need for new therapies remains urgent," said Adam R. Craig, MD, PhD, Executive Vice President, Development and Chief Medical Officer of Sunesis. "Vosaroxin, as a novel first-in-class anticancer quinolone derivative, has several potential advantages over anthracyclines and target-specific therapies. This paper offers a comprehensive review of these potential advantages in addition to discussing the clinical history and outlook for vosaroxin, including the VALOR trial, which remains on track to complete full enrollment in 2013." Sunesis is currently evaluating vosaroxin in a pivotal Phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the VALOR trial, in patients with first relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The Company is also participating in a Phase 2/3 randomized, controlled trial evaluating novel treatment regimens, including two treatment arms containing vosaroxin, in newly diagnosed elderly acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients. The trial, known as the Less Intensive 1 (LI-1) trial, is being sponsored by Cardiff University and conducted by the United Kingdom's National Cancer Research Institute Haematological Oncology Study Group under the direction of Professor Alan K. Burnett.