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Cyclacel Enters Into a $20 Million Common Stock Purchase Agreement With Aspire Capital Fund, LLC

Cyclacel Enters Into a $20 Million Common Stock Purchase Agreement With Aspire
Capital Fund, LLC

Proceeds to Advance SEAMLESS, the Ongoing Phase 3 Trial of Sapacitabine in
Elderly Patients With Newly Diagnosed AML

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J., Dec. 17, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cyclacel
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:CYCC) (Nasdaq:CYCCP) (Cyclacel or the Company),
a biopharmaceutical company developing oral therapies that target the various
phases of cell cycle control for the treatment of cancer and other serious
disorders, today announced that it has entered into a common stock purchase
agreement (the Purchase Agreement) with Aspire Capital Fund, LLC (Aspire).
Aspire has committed to purchase up to $20 million of Cyclacel's common stock
from time to time as directed by Cyclacel over the next two years at prices
based on the market price at the time of each sale. Upon execution of the
Purchase Agreement, Aspire invested $1 million in Cyclacel common stock at a
per share price equal to the closing price of $6.29 on December 13, 2012 the
date upon which the business terms were agreed to between Cyclacel and Aspire
Capital.

"We are pleased to have entered into this agreement with Aspire who enjoys an
excellent reputation as an investor," said Spiro Rombotis, President and Chief
Executive Officer of Cyclacel. "As we advance SEAMLESS, our Phase 3,
registration-directed study, along with other clinical trials for
sapacitabine, we plan to use the Aspire agreement to provide us access to
funding as needed. If it reaches the market, sapacitabine could represent an
attractive therapeutic alternative for underserved patients."

"After following Cyclacel for some years and more recently visiting Cyclacel's
headquarters and evaluating the publicly-available data on sapacitabine during
our due diligence process, it became clear to us that Cyclacel is an
impressive company," commented Steven G. Martin, Managing Member of Aspire and
Christos Komissopoulos, Principal of Aspire. "Cyclacel has been thoughtful and
conservative in their development plan for sapacitabine. In addition,
sapacitabine is a highly differentiated drug from competing molecules in terms
of its novel mechanism of action, oral administration, partnering prospects,
and promising survival data supporting the ongoing pivotal Phase 3 trial in
AML.Cyclacel also has an experienced management team with a strong track
record and deep knowledge of clinical and strategy issues in the oncology
marketplace.We are very excited about this investment opportunity and have
decided to support Cyclacel's development plan for sapacitabine and the rest
of the Company's pipeline."

Key aspects of the Purchase Agreement include:

  *Cyclacel will control the timing and amount of any sales of common stock
    to Aspire and will know the sales price before directing Aspire to
    purchase shares;
  *Aspire has no right to require any sales by the Company, but is obligated
    to make purchases as the Company directs, in accordance with the terms of
    the Purchase Agreement;
  *There are no limitations on use of proceeds, financial covenants,
    restrictions on future financings, rights of first refusal, participation
    rights, penalties or liquidated damages in the Purchase Agreement;
  *The Purchase Agreement may be terminated by Cyclacel at any time, at its
    discretion, without any additional cost or penalty; and
  *Cyclacel has issued to Aspire Capital 74,548 common shares as
    consideration for entering into the purchase agreement.

Cyclacel will use the net proceeds from the sales of common stock to advance
development of the Company's pipeline, including SEAMLESS, the ongoing Phase 3
trial evaluating sapacitabine as a potential treatment for elderly patients
with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and also Phase 2 trials in
patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and solid tumors. Cyclacel
recently reported encouraging survival data from the pilot/lead-in stage of
SEAMLESS and a Phase 2 trial of sapacitabine in patients with MDS failing
front-line therapy.

A more complete and detailed description of the transaction is set forth in
the Company's Current Report on Form 8-K, filed today with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission.

About Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Cyclacel is a biopharmaceutical company developing oral therapies that target
the various phases of cell cycle control for the treatment of cancer and other
serious diseases. The Company's most advanced oral product candidate,
sapacitabine, is the subject of SEAMLESS, a Phase 3 trial being conducted
under an SPA with the FDA as front-line treatment of acute myeloid leukemia
(AML) in the elderly and Phase 2 studies for AML, myelodysplastic syndromes
(MDS), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and solid tumors including breast,
lung, ovarian and pancreatic cancer.Cyclacel's pipeline includes seliciclib,
a CDK inhibitor, in Phase 2 for lung and nasopharyngeal cancer and in Phase 1
in combination with sapacitabine; and CYC065, a second generation CDK
inhibitor, in IND-directed development. Cyclacel's strategy is to build a
diversified biopharmaceutical business focused in hematology and oncology
based on a development pipeline of novel drug candidates. Please visit
www.cyclacel.com for additional information.

About Sapacitabine

Sapacitabine (CYC682), an orally-available nucleoside analogue, is currently
being studied in SEAMLESS, an ongoing, Phase 3, registration-directed trial in
elderly patients aged 70 years or older with newly diagnosed AML who are not
candidates for or have refused induction chemotherapy.Sapacitabine is also
the subject of Phase 2 trials in patients with hematological malignancies,
including AML, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
(CTCL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia and small lymphocytic lymphoma, and
non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and a Phase 1 trial in combination with
seliciclib in patients with advanced solid tumors.Sapacitabine acts through a
novel DNA single-strand breaking mechanism, leading to production of DNA
double strand breaks (DSBs) and/or checkpoint activation. Unrepaired DSBs
cause cell death. Repair of sapacitabine-induced DSBs is dependent on the
homologous recombination DNA repair (HRR) pathway. Both sapacitabine and
CNDAC, its major metabolite, have demonstrated potent anti-tumor activity in
preclinical studies.

Over 500 patients have received sapacitabine in Phase 2 studies in AML, MDS,
CTCL and NSCLC and Phase 1 studies in hematological malignancies and solid
tumors.Results from a randomized Phase 2, single-agent study of sapacitabine,
including promising 1-year survival in elderly patients with AML aged 70 years
or older, were published in The Lancet Oncology in November 2012.At the 2012
ASH Annual Meeting, Cyclacel reported data from the pilot/lead-in stage of
SEAMLESS including promising overall survival, 1 year survival, response rate,
and low 4-week and 8-week mortality in elderly patients with AML aged 70 years
or older receiving sapacitabine alternating with decitabine. The FDA and the
European Medicines Agency have designated sapacitabine as an orphan drug for
the treatment of both AML and MDS.Sapacitabine is part of Cyclacel's pipeline
of small molecule drugs designed to target and stop uncontrolled cell
division.

Forward-looking Statements

This news release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve
risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to be materially
different from historical results or from any future results expressed or
implied by such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements
include statements regarding, among other things, the efficacy, safety and
intended utilization of Cyclacel's product candidates, the conduct and results
of future clinical trials, plans regarding regulatory filings, future research
and clinical trials and plans regarding partnering activities. Factors that
may cause actual results to differ materially include the risk that product
candidates that appeared promising in early research and clinical trials do
not demonstrate safety and/or efficacy in larger-scale or later clinical
trials, trials may have difficulty enrolling, Cyclacel may not obtain approval
to market its product candidates, the risks associated with reliance on
outside financing to meet capital requirements, and the risks associated with
reliance on collaborative partners for further clinical trials, development
and commercialization of product candidates. You are urged to consider
statements that include the words "may," "will," "would," "could," "should,"
"believes," "estimates," "projects," "potential," "expects," "plans,"
"anticipates," "intends," "continues," "forecast," "designed," "goal," or the
negative of those words or other comparable words to be uncertain and
forward-looking. For a further list and description of the risks and
uncertainties the Company faces, please refer to our most recent Annual Report
on Form 10-K and other periodic and other filings we file with the Securities
and Exchange Commission and are available at www.sec.gov.Such forward-looking
statements are current only as of the date they are made, and we assume no
obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of
new information, future events or otherwise.

© Copyright 2012 Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, Inc.All Rights Reserved.The
Cyclacel logo and Cyclacel® are trademarks of Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

CONTACT: Investors/Media:
         Corey Sohmer, (908) 517-7330,
         csohmer@cyclacel.com
 
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