ZIOPHARM Oncology Granted New U.S. Patent for Palifosfamide

        Print
| Source: ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc.

NEW YORK, Aug. 2, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. (Nasdaq:ZIOP) announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued Patent No. 8,232,262 entitled "Salts of Isophosphoramide Mustard and Analogs Thereof as Anti-Tumor Agents" with claims directed to pharmaceutical compositions, methods of treatment and methods of making a novel DNA cross-linker, including palifosfamide (ZIO-201). This newly issued patent provides subject matter exclusivity through 2027. The patent estate covering palifosfamide compositions, formulations, methods of use and methods of manufacture now includes issued patents in the United States, Australia, Europe, New Zealand and South Africa, as well as pending applications in the United States and various foreign jurisdictions.

ZIOPHARM is evaluating palifosfamide in an international, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled Phase 3 trial in first-line metastatic soft tissue sarcoma referred to as the PICASSO 3 Study. The Company is also evaluating palifosfamide in a pivotal Phase 3 study in first-line metastatic small cell lung cancer. Orphan Drug Designation for the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma has been obtained for palifosfamide in both the United States and the European Union.

"The issuance of this patent further strengthens our U.S. patent position for our lead candidate, palifosfamide, which already has composition of matter exclusivity through 2029," said Caesar J. Belbel, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of ZIOPHARM. "The further strengthening of our robust patent portfolio specifically for this compound is important to ZIOPHARM as we move forward with pivotal and other studies in soft tissue sarcoma, small cell lung cancer and other potential indications."

About ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc.:

ZIOPHARM Oncology is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of new cancer therapies. The Company's clinical programs include:

Palifosfamide (ZIO-201), a novel DNA-targeted cancer treatment that bypasses drug resistance mediated by ALDH (aldehyde dehydrogenase), an enzyme associated with cancer stem cells, and has a favorable toxicity profile. Intravenous palifosfamide is currently being studied in a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled Phase 3 trial (PICASSO 3) for the treatment of first-line metastatic soft tissue sarcoma and is also in a pivotal Phase 3 trial (MATISSE) for first-line metastatic small cell lung cancer. Additionally, the Company is developing an oral capsule form of palifosfamide.

IL-12 DNA, a novel DNA therapeutic that is delivered to the patient's tumor and expresses interleukin-12, a protein that controls anti-cancer immune responses. IL-12 DNA is currently in two Phase 1b studies, with plans to move into Phase 2 studies. ZIOPHARM's DNA therapeutics are being developed in partnership with Intrexon Corporation through a revolutionary synthetic biology platform that allows for targeted, controlled production of therapies in humans with a biologic on/off switch (the RheoSwitch Therapeutic System®). Preclinical and discovery work with multiple therapeutic approaches, such as antibodies, immunotoxins and protein decoys, is expected to result in multiple clinical candidates in the next 12 to 24 months.

Indibulin (ZIO-301) is a novel, tubulin binding agent that is expected to have several potential benefits, including oral dosing, application in multi-drug resistant tumors, no neuropathy and a tolerable toxicity profile. It is currently being studied in a Phase 1/2 trial in metastatic breast cancer.

Darinaparsin (ZIO-101) is a novel mitochondrial- and hedgehog-targeted agent (organic arsenic) currently in ongoing studies with Solasia Pharma K.K.

ZIOPHARM's operations are located in Boston, MA and New York City. Further information about ZIOPHARM may be found at www.ziopharm.com.

Forward-Looking Safe Harbor Statement:

This press release contains certain forward-looking information about ZIOPHARM Oncology that is intended to be covered by the safe harbor for "forward-looking statements" provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. Words such as "expect(s)," "feel(s)," "believe(s)," "will," "may," "anticipate(s)" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our ability to successfully develop and commercialize our therapeutic products; our ability to expand our long-term business opportunities; financial projections and estimates and their underlying assumptions; and future performance. All of such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of the Company, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: whether Palifosfamide, Darinaparsin, Indibulin, or any of our other therapeutic products will advance further in the clinical trials process and whether and when, if at all, they will receive final approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies and for which indications; whether Palifosfamide, Darinaparsin, Indibulin, and our other therapeutic products will be successfully marketed if approved; whether our DNA-based biotherapeutics discovery and development efforts will be successful; our ability to achieve the results contemplated by our collaboration agreements; the strength and enforceability of our intellectual property rights; competition from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies; the development of and our ability to take advantage of the market for DNA-based biotherapeutics; our ability to raise additional capital to fund our operations on terms acceptable to us; general economic conditions; and the other risk factors contained in our periodic and interim SEC reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011, and our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2012. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of the date hereof, and we do not undertake any obligation to revise and disseminate forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof, or to reflect the occurrence of or non-occurrence of any events.

For ZIOPHARM
Nicole P. Jones
ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc.
617-778-2266


Media Contacts:
David Schull or Lena Evans
Russo Partners, LLC
858-717-2310
212-845-4262