Sunesis Pharmaceuticals Expands Hematology Franchise With Global Licenses To Two Kinase Inhibitor Programs

BTK Inhibitor SNS-062 Licensed from Biogen Idec; IND Anticipated in Approximately 12 Months

PDK1 Inhibitor Program Licensed from Millennium; Development Candidate Selection to Take Place in 2014

Sunesis to Host Conference Call, Provide 2014 Outlook, Today at 11AM Eastern Time

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Jan. 9, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:SNSS) today announced that it has expanded its hematology franchise through separate global licensing agreements for two preclinical kinase inhibitor programs. The company will host a conference call to discuss these agreements, as well as an outlook for 2014, today at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

The first agreement, with Biogen Idec (Nasdaq:BIIB), is for global commercial rights to SNS-062, a potent and selective non-covalently binding oral inhibitor of BTK (Bruton's tyrosine kinase). BTK is a mediator of B-cell receptor signaling integral to the pathogenesis of B-cell malignancies. With characteristics and activity distinct from in-class compounds, SNS-062 may hold potential as a differentiated treatment for B-cell malignancies and other blood cancers. Sunesis anticipates filing an investigational new drug (IND) application for SNS-062 with the Food and Drug Administration in approximately one year to begin human clinical trials.

The second agreement, with Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, is for global commercial rights to several potential first-in class, pre-clinical inhibitors of the novel target PDK1 (phosphoinositide-dependent kinase-1). PDK1 is a key kinase and mediator of PI3K/AKT signaling, a pathway involved in cell growth, proliferation, differentiation, motility and survival. PDK1 inhibitors are expected to have unique effects on survival and invasion signaling and to be broadly active in both hematologic and solid tumor malignancies. Sunesis anticipates selecting a lead PDK1 development candidate this year to take into IND enabling studies.

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