– USA, MA – Ziopharm Oncology, Inc. (Nasdaq:ZIOP), a biotechnology company focused on development of next generation immunotherapies utilizing gene- and cell-based therapies to treat patients with cancer, today announced that Ziopharm’s Chief Executive Officer Laurence Cooper, M.D., Ph.D, is appointed to the Board of Directors effective immediately

The company also announced that Francois Lebel, M.D., is stepping down from his position as Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of Research & Development, effective Oct. 26.

“We are pleased to continue the evolution of the Board of Directors with the addition of Dr. Cooper as the Company’s CEO,” said Ziopharm’s Lead Director Scott Tarriff, who is Chief Executive Officer of Eagle Pharmaceuticals. “We support Laurence and his plan for the Company’s management team to advance the Controlled IL-12 and Sleeping Beauty platforms.”

Ziopharm recently announced it has full developmental control over its technologies and is now evolving its organizational structure. A recruitment process is underway during this transition period aimed at building upon existing expertise to meet the needs of patients and shareholders.

“We are developing and expanding our R&D and clinical development teams to support the Controlled IL-12 and Sleeping Beauty CAR-T and TCR-T programs,” said Dr. Cooper. “On behalf of the Board of Directors and management team, I thank Francois for his service to our clinical programs, and we wish him well in his next endeavor.”

Dr. Lebel said, “I very much enjoyed working with the team at Ziopharm and the many world-class investigators involved with our trials. I am proud that the team has established a strong data set that supports the potential efficacy of our technologies, including Controlled IL-12 to treat patients with recurrent glioblastoma and likely other solid tumors. As I leave the Company, I believe it is on a solid track for success.”

About Ziopharm Oncology, Inc.

Ziopharm Oncology is a Boston-based biotechnology company focused on the development of next-generation immunotherapies utilizing gene- and cell-based therapies to treat patients with cancer. Ziopharm is focused on the development of two platform technologies designed to deliver safe, effective and scalable cell- and viral-based therapies for the treatment of multiple cancer types: Controlled IL-12 and Sleeping Beauty for genetically modifying T cells. The Company’s lead asset, Ad-RTS-hIL-12 plus veledimex, has demonstrated in clinical trials the potential to control interleukin-12, leading to an infiltration of T cells that fight cancer. Ad-RTS-hIL-12 plus veledimex is being evaluated as a monotherapy and in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors to treat brain cancer and other tumor types. The Company also is advancing therapies using Sleeping Beauty, a non-viral approach to genetically modify chimeric antigen receptor (CAR+) and T-cell receptor (TCR+) T cells, which target specific antigens in blood cancers and neoantigens such as in solid tumors. Sleeping Beauty is designed using the Company’s “point-of-care” technology, a shortened manufacturing process which potentially can be developed as a decentralized manufacturing process based in hospitals. These programs are being advanced in collaboration with MD Anderson Cancer Center and the National Cancer Institute.

For more information : http://www.ziopharm.com

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