Ziopharm gains access to Intrexon's synthetic biology tech

Ziopharm Oncoloy has gained access to Intrexon's UltraVector technology in exchange for $11.6 million in stock. Ziopharma plans to develop and commercialize DNA-based therapeutics using Intrexon's transgene engineering platform for the anti-cancer compounds. Ziopharm gains rights to Intrexon's human in vivo effector platform for oncology, including a Phase I study product candidate. Additionally, an IND filing is planned for a second drug in the first half of this year. Intrexon is responsible for technology discovery efforts, patent management and certain aspects of manufacturing. Ziopharm, meanwhile, will handle preclinical studies and clinical trials of the two drug candidates, along with some of the manufacturing and all commercialization.

Intrexon will pay $4.80 per share in exchange for 5 percent of the company's stock. Ziopharm will issue another 7.4 percent of its currently outstanding shares at no charge. And Intrexon has agreed to purchase up to $50 million in conjunction with securities offerings that may be conducted by Ziopharma in the future.

"...Ziopharma plans to leverage this technology for next-generation products targeting key pathways used by cancers to grow and metastasize," notes Ziopharm CEO Jonathan Lewis. "Intrexon has developed a technology that is uniquely flexible, scalable and controllable, adding significantly to our small molecule drug development capabilities and our ability to translate science to the patient using our world-class global team."

-here's Ziopharma's release