Ziopharm and Southern Research Institute ink anticancer research deal
In conjunction with the research agreement, Ziopharm also signed a two-year option agreement to enter into an exclusive worldwide license agreement for these novel alkylating agents. A patent covering the IPM (isophosphoramide mustard) analogs has been issued in the US. Ziopharm announced in November, 2004 that it had secured an exclusive worldwide license to a proprietary form of IPM named ZIO-201 from DEKK-Tec Inc of New Orleans. ZIO-201 is the stable active metabolite of ifosfamide, an alkylating drug. The company believes that ZIO-201 will have a significant safety advantage over ifosfamide. ZIO-201 has also been shown to be active in several ifosfamide- and cyclophosphamide-resistant tumors. Data from cancer cell lines and animal models indicate that the IPM analogs may have a different pharmacologic and activity profile from ZIO-201, and form the basis for the planned pre-clinical collaboration. Ziopharm may exercise its right to enter into the already negotiated license agreement at any time during the two year option period. Terms of the license agreement, if exercised, would include milestone payments and a royalty. If the option is not exercised, all rights to the analogs return to Southern Research Institute.