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Ziopharm Oncology Names Drug Development Leader Dr. Chris Bowden to Board of Directors

– Industry veteran with 20+ years of global oncology drug development leadership  

– Current CMO at Agios Pharmaceuticals; Former VP of Product Development, Oncology at Genentech  

BOSTON, Oct. 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ziopharm Oncology, Inc. (“Ziopharm” or “the Company”) (ZIOP), today announced that Chris Bowden, M.D., an oncology drug development executive with more than 20 years leadership experience spanning pre-clinical development through commercialization, including the approval of several cancer medicines, has been appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors.  Dr. Bowden is the Chief Medical Officer of Agios Pharmaceuticals and was previously Vice President, Product Development Oncology, at Genentech, Inc., a member of the Roche Group.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Bowden to the Ziopharm Board. Chris brings more than two decades of oncology drug development proficiency, including the clinical development and global registrations of several marketed cancer medicines,” said Scott Tariff, Ziopharm’s Chairman. “His experience in successfully bringing cancer therapies to the market will greatly benefit Ziopharm as our Sleeping Beauty platform and Controlled IL-12 clinical pipeline both continue to advance.”

Since 2014, Dr. Bowden has served as CMO for Agios Pharmaceuticals, where he has built the clinical development organization and directed global clinical development and regulatory activities in oncology and rare genetic diseases. During his tenure, Agios has garnered FDA approval for two isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) inhibitors, IDHIFA® (partnership with Celgene Corporation) and TIBSOVO® for adult patients with IDH1/2 mutation positive acute myeloid leukemia (AML). During Dr. Bowden’s eight years at Genentech as VP of Product Development Oncology, he led the teams responsible for the development and global registrations of several marketed cancer medicines, including Zelboraf® indicated for the treatment of BRAF V600E mutant-positive metastatic melanoma, Tarceva® indicated for first line therapy of patients with non-small cell lung cancer whose tumors have an activating mutation of the Epidermal Growth Factor receptor (EGFR), and Erivedge® for patients with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic basal cell carcinoma.

“Ziopharm has made an impressive corporate transformation in the past year through regained independence and steady execution,” commented Dr. Bowden. “With each of the Company’s core programs advancing in the clinic this year, I am eager to contribute to the plans for the clinical development and regulatory strategy for these promising and urgently needed treatments.” 

From 2003 to 2006, Dr. Bowden worked for Bristol-Myers Squibb as the executive director for EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) regions. In this role, he led medical affairs strategies for cancer, immunology and pain medicines. Earlier, Dr. Bowden held positions of increasing responsibility in oncology clinical development at Pharmacia Corporation and Janssen Pharmaceutica.

Prior to his industry experience, Dr. Bowden was on the oncology faculty at the University of Virginia Health Science Center. Dr. Bowden received his medical degree from Hahnemann University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, followed by internal medicine training at Roger Williams Medical Center and the Providence VA Medical Center, in Rhode Island. He completed his medical oncology fellowship at the National Cancer Institute Medicine Branch. Dr. Bowden is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology.

The addition of Dr. Bowden represents the sixth new board member for Ziopharm in the past 18 months. With this appointment, the company has successfully reshaped and repopulated its board of directors, adding the skills and experience needed to guide the company into the future.

About Ziopharm Oncology, Inc.
Ziopharm Oncology is an immuno-oncology company focused on developing end-to-end cost-effective solutions using its non-viral Sleeping Beauty platform for TCR and CAR T-cell therapies and immune-stimulating gene therapy with Controlled interleukin 12 (IL-12). The Sleeping Beauty platform genetically modifies T cells with DNA plasmids to express T-cell receptors to target neoantigens inside and outside hotspots for solid tumors and CAR to target CD19 for blood cancers using the Company’s rapid personalized manufacturing to produce and release CAR-T within two days of gene transfer. The Sleeping Beauty platform is being advanced in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Eden BioCell. The Company also is developing its Controlled IL-12 platform, or Ad-RTS-hIL-12 plus veledimex, as monotherapy and in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors to treat brain cancer, including in collaboration with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

Forward-Looking Statements Disclaimer
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in 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 progress and timing of the Company's research and development programs. Although Ziopharm’s management team believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, investors are cautioned that forward-looking information and statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of Ziopharm, that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties include among other things, changes in our operating plans that may impact our cash expenditures, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, future clinical data and analysis, including whether any of Ziopharm’s product candidates will advance further in the preclinical research or clinical trial process, including maintaining clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies to conduct clinical trials and whether and when, if at all, they will receive final approval from the U.S. FDA or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies and for which indication; the strength and enforceability of Ziopharm’s intellectual property rights; competition from other pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies as well as risk factors discussed or identified in the public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission made by Ziopharm, including those risks and uncertainties listed in Ziopharm’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed by Ziopharm with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We are providing this information as of the date of this press release, and Ziopharm does not undertake any obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release whether as a result of new information, future events or any other reason.

Ziopharm Oncology Contact:
Chris Taylor
VP, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
617-502-1881
ctaylor@ziopharm.com