July 19, 2007

Ziopharm Oncology getting recognition

Ziopharm Oncology (ZIOP), a small-cap biotech, recently picked up some national recognition in this week's Business Week. Ziopharm, a cancer research company, has three candidates in clinical trials for the testing of myeloma, sarcoma, and mitosis. Its most interesting drug candidate is ZIO-101, which uses organic arsenic in treating myeloma and other types of blood cancers. Arsenic has been in use as a cancer fighter for a while now, but it can be very toxic. But, the arsenic that Ziopharm uses in ZIO-101 is organic, which reduces the toxic side effects according to CEO Jonathan Lewis.
Ziopharm is highly speculative for investors at this point. Its drug candidates are only in Phase I and II trials. The company has had success so far in its clinical trials, as it announced positive data from its Phase II trials of ZIO-202, which treats sarcoma, on July 9. However, the stock has had a very bumpy ride over the last year. Investors can probably expect the roller coaster ride to continue for a while, at least until ZIO-202 can move into Phase III.
A coming post will look at my intrinsic value for Ziopharm.