ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc., an oncology small molecule and synthetic biology drug development company, has entered into a license and collaboration agreement with Solasia Pharma K.K., a developer of Western oncology pharmaceuticals in-licensed for commercialization in Asian markets, in which the two companies will develop and commercialize ZIOPHARM’s darinaparsin product (Zinapar™ or ZIO-101) and related organic arsenic molecules in specified Pan-Asian/Pacific territories.

Darinaparsin is being developed for the treatment of various hematologic and solid cancers, and was granted Orphan Drug Designation in the U.S. and Europe. Per today’s agreement, Solasia intends to seek similar status in Japan.

The agreement gives Solasia an exclusive license to develop and commercialize darinaparsin in intravenous and oral forms, as well as related organic arsenic indications for human use in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand.

“We are very excited to add darinaparsin to our growing pipeline of oncology drugs. Cancer is a leading cause of death in Asia, with hematologic malignancies increasing as a subset of the total cancer incidence rate,” Steven E. Engen, president and CEO of Solasia stated in the press release. “Darinaparsin is well tolerated and is expected to be less toxic than arsenics commonly used in Japan, China and other territories in Asia and has demonstrated promising efficacy in hematologic cancers, including peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL), a disease nearly twice as prevalent in Asia compared to the West, but for which there are very few treatment options. We look forward to working with ZIOPHARM in developing this novel drug, and to filling this growing unmet medical need in Asia.”

ZIOPHARM will receive an up-front payment of $5 million, which is allotted exclusively for further clinical development of darinaparsin outside of the pan-Asian/Pacific territory. The company will also be entitled to receive additional payments of up to $32.5 million in development-based milestones and up to $53.5 million in sales-based milestones. In addition, ZIOPHARM will be entitled to receive double-digit royalty payments from Solasia on net sales of licensed products in the applicable territories, once commercialized, and a percentage of any sublicense revenues generated by Solasia.

“This agreement marks an important milestone for our darinaparsin program, as it provides validation for the compound’s clinical potential as well as additional support ahead of moving into the pivotal phase later this year,” Jonathan Lewis, M.D., Ph.D., CEO and chief medical officer of ZIOPHARM stated. “Solasia is a strong partner whose management and advisory team are highly experienced in the development and commercialization of products within these territories.”

For more information visit www.ziopharm.com