- Executing on clinical and business development with plans to add new Board members and expand management team
- Annual meeting of stockholders is Sept. 18
BOSTON, July 26, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ziopharm Oncology, Inc. (ZIOP), a biotechnology company focused on development of next generation immunotherapies utilizing gene- and cell-based therapies to treat patients with cancer, today responded to the recent stock price decline and announced it expects to add new members to the Company’s Board of Directors and expand its management team.
“Over the past year, our Controlled IL-12 and Sleeping Beauty cell therapy platform technologies have progressed, providing a strong scientific foundation for the Company. We believe the recent stock price decline is based in part on uncertainly about our regulatory and clinical timelines, but we assure our shareholders that we are encouraged and confident in advanced partnering discussions and see real opportunity to accelerate our clinical programs,” said Sir Murray Brennan, M.D., Lead Director and Chair of the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee. “In the meantime, we have engaged in a formal process to evaluate, recruit and add Board members, and we plan to expand management to assist CEO Laurence Cooper, M.D., Ph.D., and the management team to maximize the value of our Controlled IL-12 and Sleeping Beauty platforms.”
Ziopharm Director Scott Tarriff, CEO of Eagle Pharmaceuticals, added, “Despite the recent request from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for more information before allowing our phase 1 clinical trial to move forward, I remain excited about the future of Ziopharm and the significant therapeutic potential of our CAR-T, TCR-T and Controlled IL-12 candidates and the value each of these hold for our shareholders and current and future strategic partners. In the coming weeks, we expect to provide additional guidance on our plans to move this trial forward. In addition to new directors to guide the company, we also are exploring additions to the management team to add bandwidth and capabilities to the team.”
The Company also announced it will hold its annual meeting of stockholders on Sept.18, 2018, one day earlier than previously planned. The annual meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Eastern time in New York City.
About Ziopharm Oncology, Inc.
Ziopharm Oncology is a Boston-based biotechnology company focused on the development of next-generation immunotherapies utilizing gene- and cell-based therapies to treat patients with cancer. In partnership with Precigen Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intrexon Corporation (XON), Ziopharm is focused on the development of two platform technologies designed to deliver safe, effective and scalable cell- and viral-based therapies for the treatment of multiple cancer types: Controlled IL-12 and Sleeping Beauty for genetically modifying T cells. The Company's lead asset, Ad-RTS-hIL-12 plus veledimex, has demonstrated in clinical trials the potential to control interleukin-12, leading to an infiltration of T cells that fight cancer. Ad-RTS-hIL-12 plus veledimex is being evaluated as a monotherapy and in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors to treat brain cancer and other tumor types. The Company also is advancing therapies using Sleeping Beauty, a non-viral approach to genetically modify chimeric antigen receptor (CAR+) and T-cell receptor (TCR+) T cells, which target specific antigens in blood cancers and neoantigens in solid tumors. Sleeping Beauty is designed using the Company's point-of-care technology, a shortened manufacturing process which potentially can be developed as a decentralized manufacturing process based in hospitals. These programs are being advanced in collaboration with Precigen and with MD Anderson Cancer Center, the National Cancer Institute and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
Forward-Looking Statements Disclaimer
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts, and in some cases can be identified by terms such as "may," "will," "could," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," and "believes." These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the Company’s adding new directors and management team members, business development and partnering activities and its proposed clinical trial for CD19-specific CAR-T therapies manufactured under point-of-care. All 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 by, the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the Company’s ability to recruit new directors and management team members, the outcome of the Company’s business development and partnering activities; changes in the Company's financial condition and cash needs, funding or other strategic opportunities that become available to the Company, the Company's ability to finance its operations and business initiatives and obtain funding for such activities; whether chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) approaches, Ad-RTS-hIL-12, TCR and NK cell-based therapies, or any of other product candidates will advance further in the preclinical research or clinical trial 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 chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) approaches, Ad-RTS-hIL-12, TCR and NK cell-based therapies, and the Company's other therapeutic products it develops will be successfully marketed if approved; the strength and enforceability of the Company's intellectual property rights; competition from other pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies; as well as other risk factors contained in the Company's periodic and interim reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to, the risks and uncertainties set forth in the "Risk Factors" section of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 and subsequent reports that the Company may file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of the date hereof, and the Company does 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.