ZIOPHARM Oncology Announces Dosing of First Patient in Phase 3 Study of Palifosfamide for the Treatment of Small Cell Lung Cancer
NEW YORK, June 11, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. (Nasdaq:ZIOP), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of new cancer therapies, today announced that the first patient has been dosed in the MATISSE study (Multicenter Adaptive Trial Investigating Small cell lung cancer Survival Endpoints), a pivotal Phase 3 multi-center, open-label, adaptive, randomized study of palifosfamide for the treatment of small cell lung cancer. ZIOPHARM has also recently announced the completion of enrollment in its Phase 3 study of palifosfamide in combination with doxorubicin for the treatment of metastatic soft tissue sarcoma in the front-line setting (PICASSO 3).
The MATISSE study is designed to enroll up to 548 chemotherapy naive patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer. Eligible patients will be randomized, one-to-one, to receive either palifosfamide in combination with carboplatin and etoposide (PaCE) or carboplatin and etoposide alone. The trial's primary endpoint is overall survival. Secondary endpoints include progression-free survival, objective response rate and quality of life. MATISSE will be conducted at centers in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
"Small cell lung cancer is an extraordinarily difficult to treat cancer, for which there has been no novel treatment in decades," said Lawrence Einhorn, M.D., Distinguished Professor at the Simon Cancer Center of Indiana University Medical Center, Lance Armstrong Foundation Chair in Oncology, former President of ASCO and a member of ZIOPHARM's Medical Advisory Board (ZIOP). "An important element of treating the disease is to find an agent that is safe and has minimal variability between patients. Palifosfamide has demonstrated broad therapeutic activity, including effects against cancer stem cells, as well as good tolerability alone and in combination with various chemotherapeutics. MATISSE incorporates a novel, adaptive study design that should provide a clinically meaningful understanding of palifosfamide's activity and tolerability in advanced disease as quickly as possible for this heavily underserved population."
The study's adaptive design includes a prospectively planned opportunity for modification of the study protocol by adjusting one or more specified components of the design in order to maintain adequate power. Evaluation of the study's powering will be conducted by an Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC) at a single, pre-planned interim analysis, scheduled to occur following 125 events. At the interim analysis, the IDMC will review all efficacy and safety data and decide whether to: 1) halt the study for efficacy or futility, 2) continue the study to its planned enrollment of 548 patients, 3) decrease sample size, or 4) increase event size.
The MATISSE study is designed around clinical data from several studies of palifosfamide, including a Phase 1b, open-label, dose escalation study of intravenous palifosfamide in combination with etoposide and carboplatin in patients with SCLC and other selected cancers, which demonstrated good tolerability and a clinical benefit rate of 67%. Data from a Phase 3 randomized study of ifosfamide, an in-class DNA-targeted anti-cancer therapy, conducted by the Hoosier Oncology Group (HOG) were also incorporated in to the efficacy rationale for the MATISSE study. In this HOG study, ifosfamide demonstrated a survival benefit, the only front-line therapy added to standard of care to do so in SCLC, but was not pursued due to the excessive toxicities.
About Small Cell Lung Cancer
Small cell lung cancer is almost exclusively associated with cigarette smoking, and the majority of patients with extensive disease are treated front-line but relapse with a very high mortality within one year. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 15 percent of lung cancers are SCLC, or an incidence of approximately 33,400 patients yearly in the U.S. There is expected to be a substantially growing incidence worldwide.
About ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc.:
ZIOPHARM Oncology is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of new cancer therapies. The Company's clinical programs include:
Palifosfamide (ZIO-201), a novel DNA-targeted cancer treatment that bypasses drug resistance mediated by ALDH (aldehyde dehydrogenase), an enzyme associated with cancer stem cells, and has a favorable toxicity profile. Intravenous palifosfamide is currently being studied in a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled Phase 3 trial (PICASSO 3) for the treatment of front-line metastatic soft tissue sarcoma and is also in a pivotal Phase 3 trial (MATISSE) for front-line metastatic small cell lung cancer. Additionally, the Company is developing an oral capsule form of palifosfamide.
IL-12 DNA, a novel DNA therapeutic that is delivered to the patient's tumor and expresses interleukin-12, a protein that controls anti-cancer immune responses. IL-12 DNA is currently in two Phase 1 studies, with plans to move into Phase 2 studies. ZIOPHARM's DNA therapeutics are being developed in partnership with Intrexon Corporation through a revolutionary synthetic biology platform that allows for targeted, controlled production of therapies in humans with a biologic on/off switch (the RheoSwitch Therapeutic System®). Preclinical and discovery work with multiple therapeutic approaches, such as antibodies, immunotoxins, and protein decoys, is expected to result in multiple clinical candidates in the next 12 to 24 months.
Indibulin (ZIO-301) is a novel, tubulin binding agent that is expected to have several potential benefits, including oral dosing, application in multi-drug resistant tumors, no neuropathy and a tolerable toxicity profile. It is currently being studied in a Phase 1/2 trial in metastatic breast cancer.
Darinaparsin (ZIO-101) is a novel mitochondrial- and hedgehog-targeted agent (organic arsenic) currently in ongoing studies with Solasia Pharma K.K.
ZIOPHARM's operations are located in Boston, MA; Germantown, MD; and New York City. Further information about ZIOPHARM may be found at www.ziopharm.com .
Forward-Looking Safe Harbor Statement:
This press release contains certain forward-looking information about ZIOPHARM Oncology that is intended to be covered by the safe harbor for "forward-looking statements" provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. Words such as "expect(s)," "feel(s)," "believe(s)," "will," "may," "anticipate(s)" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our ability to successfully develop and commercialize our therapeutic products; our ability to expand our long-term business opportunities; financial projections and estimates and their underlying assumptions; and future performance. All of such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of the Company, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: whether Palifosfamide, Darinaparsin, Indibulin, or any of our other therapeutic products will advance further in the clinical trials process and whether and when, if at all, they will receive final approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies and for which indications; whether Palifosfamide, Darinaparsin, Indibulin, and our other therapeutic products will be successfully marketed if approved; whether our DNA-based biotherapeutics discovery and development efforts will be successful; our ability to achieve the results contemplated by our collaboration agreements; the strength and enforceability of our intellectual property rights; competition from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies; the development of and our ability to take advantage of the market for DNA-based biotherapeutics; our ability to raise additional capital to fund our operations on terms acceptable to us; general economic conditions; and the other risk factors contained in our periodic and interim SEC reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011, and our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2012. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of the date hereof, and we do not undertake any obligation to revise and disseminate forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof, or to reflect the occurrence of or non-occurrence of any events.
CONTACT: For ZIOPHARM Nicole Jones ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. 617-778-2266 firstname.lastname@example.org Media Contacts: David Schull or Lena Evans Russo Partners, LLC 858-717-2310 212-845-4262 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. 2012 GlobeNewswire, Inc.