U.S. Markets open in 6 hrs 34 mins

Ziopharma's Lead Asset Snags Fast Track Designation For Cancer Treatment

Shanthi Rexaline

ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ: ZIOP) shares were seeing activity Monday after the thinly traded small biotech announced that it secured a Fast Track designation for its lead asset.

What Happened

Ziopharm said the FDA granted Fast Track designation for its Ad-RTS-hIL-12 plus veledimex, which is being evaluated for the treatment of recurrent or progressive glioblastoma multiforme, or rGBM in adults.

Ad-RTS-hIL-12 plus veledimex is being tested for several indications, and for rGBM, it is being evaluated in an early stage study.

Why It's Important

The cancer of the central nervous system is often life-threatening, has few treatment options and no cure.  

The Fast Track designation facilitates the development and expediting of the review of drugs to treat serious conditions. It bestows several benefits such as frequent meetings and communications with the FDA, and if relevant criteria are met, allows accelerated approval, priority review or rolling review of a BLA.

What's Next

Ziopharm recently expanded the Phase 1 trial evaluating its Ad-RTS-hIL-12 plus veledimex monotherapy for the treatment of rGBM. The company is monitoring a total of 51 patients with rGBM treated with a 20mg veledimex dose and to assess the impact of systemic dosing of steroids.

The company expects to report preliminary data from the sub-study at medical meetings this year.

Price Action 

Ziopharm shares were up 3.38 percent at $3.98 at the time of publication Monday. 

Related Links:

6 Gene Therapy M&A Targets On The Radar

The Week Ahead In Biotech: Conferences, PDUFA Dates, Clinical Trials, Earnings And IPOs

See more from Benzinga

© 2019 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.