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Actionable news in ZIOP: ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc,

Ziopharm Blows Up On Sarcoma Drug Failure (Update)


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Let's do the postmortem exam on Ziopharm Oncology (ZIOP - Get Report) : Death by clinical trial failure. The short thesis on Ziopharm and palifosfamide was explained last Friday by a fund manager with an excellent track record of predicting clinical trial blow ups. Ziopharm is another notch in his belt. Great call. Kudos also go out to TheStreet contributor Aafia Chaudhry for raising concerns about Ziopharm. In the failed phase III sarcoma trial, median progression-free survival (PFS) for the doxorubicin control arm was 5.2 months -- better than expected. Median PFS for patients treated with palifosfamide and doxorubicin was approximately one month higher than doxorubicin alone (a specific number wasn't provided by Ziopharm.) Still, median PFS of around 6 months for palifosfamide was lower than expected. Palifosfamide underperformed while doxorubicin did better -- pretty much exactly what my short-selling hedge fund investor source predicted. I got Ziopharm wrong. My prediction of success for palifosfamide was a bad call, obviously. The Feuerstein-Ratain Rule said Ziopharm had a small chance for success but not impossible or inconceivable...