Ziopharm soars on promising cancer data

Shares of Ziopharm Oncology zoomed up 37 percent this morning after the developer released promising mid-stage data on its cancer drug Zymafos. The company decided to stop enrolling new patients into the trial after hitting its primary endpoint. Zymafos, or palifosfamide, is intended to treatment patients with unresectable or metastatic soft-tissue sarcoma. 

In the trial, sarcoma patients were divided into two groups, with one receiving doxorubicin alone and the other group taking a combination of doxorubicin and palifosfamide. According to the company, a total of 58 patients have been evaluated for progression-free survival with 19 documented PFS events (doxorubicin alone = 3 events; palifosfamide + doxorubicin = 6 events) based on a three month median follow-up time. 

"The hypothesis of the randomized Phase II trial design for this very difficult to treat cancer population has been validated and the interim results are promising and supportive of a pivotal trial," said Robert Maki, MD, PhD, co-leader of the adult sarcoma program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

- check out the Ziopharm release