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Ziopharm proceeds with cancer drug study analysis

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Ziopharm Oncology Inc. climbed Tuesday morning after the drug developer said it will go ahead with data analysis from a late-stage trial of its lead product, the potential cancer treatment palifosfamide.

The New York company said the study of palifosfamide as a treatment for patients with soft tissue sarcoma, which is a cancer that forms in connective tissue, reached enough progression-free survival events to complete data collection and then analysis.

Progression-free survival measures the time before a disease progresses or the patient in the study dies. The study measures how patients taking the drug fare compared to a control group.

Ziopharm will announce initial results from the study in late March. The company, which focuses on developing cancer treatments, has no other products on the market. It also is studying palifosfamide in a late-stage trial for a form of lung cancer and is developing an oral capsule form of the intravenous drug.

Shares climbed 14 percent, or 56 cents, to $4.55 at the start of trading Tuesday. The shares have ranged in price from $3.36 to $6.33 over the past year.