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ZIOPHARM Presents ZIO-201 Lymphoma Data at ISH

PUNTA DEL ESTE, Uruguay--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar 23, 2007 - ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZIOP) announced today the presentation of data on ZIO-201 at the XXXI World Congress of the International Society of Hematology (ISH) meeting being held in Punta del Este, Uruguay. ZIO-201 is a proprietary form of the therapeutic active metabolite of ifosfamide (IFOS), a drug that is widely used in the treatment of lymphoma. However, IFOS can be problematic in treating lymphoma as certain IFOS metabolites cause debilitating bladder toxicity and confusion. Further, there is a variability in treatment effect associated with the metabolism of IFOS and resistance can develop. The Company believes that ZIO-201 could better deliver the clinical benefits of IFOS without the associated toxicities and the development of resistance.

Data presented at ISH yesterday highlighted that ZIO-201 was 10 to 30 fold more active than IFOS in most in vitro and in vivo models of lymphoma. ZIO-201 also killed IFOS-resistant lymphoma in cancer-bearing mice. In a phase I clinical study, there was little bone marrow toxicity and no hemorrhagic cystitis (bladder toxicity) or central nervous system (CNS) toxicity (confusion). The dose limiting toxicity was characterized by renal electrolyte imbalances. The maximum dose administered was equivalent to high-dose IFOS. Because of the modest bone marrow toxicity, ZIO-201 can be given to patients with bone marrow failure, an important distinction from IFOS in the treatment of patients with lymphoma. A phase II study of ZIO-201 in the treatment of lymphoma will begin later this year.

"These results with ZIO-201 are encouraging," commented Dr. Brian Schwartz, Chief Medical Officer at ZIOPHARM. "Avoiding the more serious toxicities associated with the administration of ifosfamide in addition to having the potential to treat resistant lymphoma patients with ZIO-201 could be an important step forward in r ealizing the broader therapeutic potential for this novel agent."

About ZIO-201

ZIO-201, the active moiety of IFOS, is a bi-functional alkylator that causes irreparable inter-strand DNA cross-linking resulting in cell death. ZIO-201 is equal to or more active than IFOS in diverse cancer models. Unlike IFOS which is a pro-drug, ZIO-201 is directly active against cancer cells. Also, unlike IFOS, ZIO-201 is not metabolized to acrolein or chloracetaldehyde which cause bladder or central nervous system toxicities. ZIO-201 continues in a phase I trial in diverse cancers exploring maximum tolerated dose at alternate schedules. A phase II trial in advanced sarcoma continues to enroll patients. Trials in lymphoma and pediatric cancers are in the advanced planning stage. An oral form of ZIO-201 is in advanced preclinical development.

About ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc.

ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development and commercialization of a diverse, risk-sensitive portfolio of in-licensed cancer drugs to address unmet medical needs. The Company applies new insights from molecular and cancer biology to understand the efficacy and safety limitations of approved and developmental cancer therapies and identifies proprietary and related molecules for better patient treatment. For more information, visit

Forward-Looking Safe Harbor Statement:

This press release contains forward-looking statements for ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from the anticipated results and expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from these statements. Among other things, there can be no assurance that any of the Compan y's development efforts relating to its product candidates will be successful, or such product candidates will be successfully commercialized. Other risks that affect forward-looking information contained in this press release include the possibility of being unable to obtain regulatory approval of the Company's product candidates, the risk that the results of clinical trials may not support the Company's claims, and risks related to the Company's ability to protect its intellectual property and its reliance on third parties to develop its product candidates. The Company assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.



ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc.
Suzanne McKenna, 646-214-0703
Tina Posterli, 917-322-2565


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