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ZIOPHARM Presents Unique Mechanism Data for Indibulin at AACR

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr 16, 2007 - ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZIOP) presented preclinical data yesterday on indibulin (ZIO-301) at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) meeting in Los Angeles. These data demonstrate that indibulin has distinct biologic and molecular properties from other tubulin binding agents and strongly suggest a very different toxicity profile, particularly with regard to peripheral neuropathy. While indibulin binds to tubulin in general, it does not bind to neuronal specific tubulin and does not disrupt normal axonal microtubules in vitro, likely accounting for the difference with regard to neurotoxicity.

Indibulin is one of a class of cancer therapeutics that includes the taxanes (paclitaxel and docetaxel) and Vinca alkaloids, some of the most widely used anti-cancer agents in the world today. In spite of their effectiveness, all of the commercially available agents exhibit some degree of neurotoxicity that in many cases can be dose limiting.

Indibulin, like the taxanes and vinca alkaloids, interferes with the function of microtubules by binding to their building blocks, tubulin. However, the specific tubulin binding site for indibulin is different from that of taxanes and Vinca alkaloids. The observed lack of neurotoxicity in animals receiving indibulin treatment is thought to be related to this difference in binding site, and in particular to the observation that indibulin does not bind to neuronal-specific tubulin. Indibulin is active across a diverse range of human, mouse, and rat tumor cell lines in vitro and in human tumor xenografts, including glioblastoma and in drug-resistant tumor cell lines.

"We are very excited about indibulin's potential," commented Brian Schwartz, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at ZIOPHARM. "The fact that it is orally available and shows no signs of the neurotoxicity in preclinical models associated with other agents i
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