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

The patient death resulting from intracranial hemorrhage in the third cohort of this Phase I study was deemed unrelated to study drug following the receipt and analysis of additional information by the sponsor and the study’s Safety Review Committee. As with all study events, the Company expects to report the data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in accordance with the study’s protocol and applicable regulations. As previously announced, the study remains open for enrollment. The Company expects to provide further updates on the progress of the study, including longer-term survival follow up, at an appropriate meeting later this year.

“Recurrent GBM is a devastating disease with an expected overall survival that remains far too short as this case illustrates,” said Francois Lebel, M.D., Executive Vice President, Research and Development, Chief Medical Officer at ZIOPHARM. “Preliminary overall survival in this study, including a median follow-up of over 8 months in the first dose cohort, remain encouraging, and we will continue to work diligently toward understanding the full potential of Ad-RTS-hIL-12 + veledimex in this disease, with the goal of providing safe and effective treatment options to these patients.” (Original Source)

Shares of Ziopharm jumped nearly 9% to $5.46 in pre-market trading. 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 $6.21 and its 200-day moving average is $6.94.

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 represents a potential upside of 30.3% from where the stock is currently trading. 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 19.3% and -33.7% respectively. Birchenough has a success rate of 48% and is ranked #105 out of 3977 analysts, while Markey has a success rate of 7% and is ranked #3942.

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 30.3% 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.