ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ:ZIOP) issued the following statement regarding the Company’s ongoing multicenter Phase 1 study of Ad-RTS-hIL-12 + orally administered veledimex in recurrent or progressive glioblastoma (GBM) or grade III malignant glioma:

“This Phase I study is being conducted in late-stage, recurrent GBM, so these patients are all, unfortunately, medically fragile.  The first two patient deaths, which occurred 6.7 months and 3.9 months after treatment, were unrelated to study drug. A third death has just been reported to us and we are collecting and analyzing information in order to properly and timely report it to the FDA. The cause of death is intracranial hemorrhage, which occurred some time after the patient had been discharged from the treating center. This is an isolated case, and there have been no reported related instances of brain hemorrhage in any pervious cohort or prior studies with Ad-RTS-hIL-12 + veledimex.  Enrollment remains open in the study, and we will be discussing with our Safety Review Committee the appropriate course of action.  For patients who have experienced multiple recurrences, as these patients have, prognoses are particularly poor. Median follow up in the first dose cohort from our study is now 8 months, in a population with an expected overall survival of 3 to 5 months for patients that have failed temozolomide and bevacizumab, or equivalent salvage chemotherapy.  For the patients that remain in follow up in this Phase I study, we believe that preliminary overall survival remains encouraging.  The Company expects to provide an update once a course of action has been determined.” (Original Source)

Shares of Ziopharm are currently trading at $5.03, down $0.64 or -11.31%. ZIOP has a 1-year high of $14.93 and a 1-year low of $4.56. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $6.34 and its 200-day moving average is $7.01.

On the ratings front, Ziopharm has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on July 13, Wells Fargo analyst Jim Birchenough reiterated a Sell rating on ZIOP, with a price target of $6.50, which implies an upside of 33.5% from current levels. Separately, on July 1, Griffin Securities’ Keith Markey reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $21.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Jim Birchenough and Keith Markey have a total average return of 18.4% and -32.7% respectively. Birchenough has a success rate of 45% and is ranked #124 out of 3973 analysts, while Markey has a success rate of 7% and is ranked #3937.

The street is mostly Neutral on ZIOP stock. Out of 4 analysts who cover the stock, 2 suggest a Hold rating , one suggests a Sell and one recommends to Buy the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $6.50, which represents a potential upside of 33.5% from where the stock is currently trading.

ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company currently in developmental stage that seeks to acquire, develop and commercialize, on its own or with commercial partners, a diverse portfolio of cancer therapies. The company also has a portfolio of small molecule drug candidates, which are no longer a strategic focus of its development activities for which the company is seeking partners to pursue further development and commercialization. It is currently focused on two clinical stage product candidates: Ad-RTS-IL-12 + veledimex and DC-RTS-IL-12 + veledimex.