October 16, 2008

Ziopharm Receives EU Positive Opinion for Sarcoma Drug

Ziopharm Oncology, a biopharmaceutical company, has announced that the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products has issued a positive opinion regarding the company's application for orphan medicinal product designation for palifosfamide in the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma.

Palifosfamide, the active moiety of ifosfamide (IFOS), is a bi-functional alkylator that causes irreparable inter-strand DNA cross-linking, resulting in cell death. Palifosfamide is equal to or more active than IFOS in diverse cancer models, the company said.

Jonathan Lewis, chief executive and medical officer of Ziopharm, said: "There is a significant unmet need for additional treatments to address soft tissue sarcoma beyond locally effective surgery. We are pleased to so soon have orphan drug status in Europe to augment the orphan drug designation received in the US earlier this year as we initiate patient treatment in our Phase II randomized controlled trial in soft tissue sarcoma."