Ziopharm Oncology Names James Huang to Board of Directors

Wednesday, 22. July 2020 14:30

Industry veteran entrepreneur with 20+ years’ experience founding and financing successful, innovative biotech companies including GenScript and Legend Biotech

Managing Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers China; Founder of Panacea Venture, funding source for Ziopharm’s joint venture Eden BioCell

BOSTON, July 22, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ziopharm Oncology, Inc. (“Ziopharm” or “the Company”) (Nasdaq:ZIOP), today announced the appointment of James Huang to the Company’s Board of Directors. Mr. Huang is currently a Managing Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) China and has founded and financed several innovative life sciences companies, including GenScript, Legend Biotech and Zai Lab. He is also Founding Partner of Panacea Venture, which formed TriArm Therapeutics, the funding partner for Ziopharm’s joint venture, Eden BioCell.  

“We are delighted to welcome James to Ziopharm’s Board of Directors. He has an unparalleled track record of success in creating and building value with life science companies in and around China,” said Laurence Cooper, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Ziopharm. “James shares our vision for harnessing the power of the non-viral Sleeping Beauty system to commercialize novel treatments for cancer, and his vision and business acumen have been instrumental to the formation and rapid progress of our Eden BioCell joint venture. We look forward to adding his deep experience and perspective as a valuable resource to our Board.”

Mr. Huang added, “My career focus has been to identify the best potential technology platforms for investment and to develop those I believe can reach the most patients. We have long sought to identify a viable solution to the problems of cost and manufacturing complexity in the CAR-T space. I believe that Ziopharm’s approach, with its non-viral DNA plasmid-based Sleeping Beauty platform, has the best chance to stand apart from the competition to solve these issues. I am delighted to join Ziopharm’s Board of Directors and look forward to working with Laurence and the experienced Ziopharm team.”

Mr. Huang joined KPCB China as a Managing Partner in 2011 and focused on the firm’s life sciences practice. Prior to joining KPCB, he was a Managing Partner at Vivo Ventures, a venture capital firm specializing in life sciences investments. While at Vivo, he led numerous investments in China. Prior to joining Vivo in 2007, Mr. Huang was President of Anesiva, a biopharmaceutical company focused on pain-management treatments. During his 20-year career in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, Mr. Huang held senior roles in business development, sales, marketing and R&D with Tularik Inc. (acquired by Amgen), GlaxoSmithKline LLC, Bristol-Meyers Squibb and ALZA Corp (acquired by Johnson & Johnson). Mr. Huang also built GenScript, including Legend Biotech from a small U.S. venture backed company into a revenue-generating company with a multi-billion valuation on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.

Eden BioCell Joint Venture
In December 2018, Ziopharm and TriArm Therapeutics announced the launch of Eden BioCell to lead clinical development and commercialization of Sleeping Beauty-generated CAR-T therapies in Greater China. Ziopharm licensed to Eden BioCell its rights in Greater China to Sleeping Beauty-generated CAR-T therapies targeting the CD19 antigen using Ziopharm’s rapid personalized manufacturing (RPM) technology. TriArm has committed up to $35 million to this joint venture, and Eden BioCell is owned 50-50 by Ziopharm and TriArm. Work is underway at Eden BioCell to file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the Taiwan FDA for a phase 1 trial of autologous CD19-specific CAR-T using RPM.

About Ziopharm Oncology, Inc.
Ziopharm is developing non-viral and cytokine-driven cell and gene therapies that weaponize the body’s immune system to treat the millions of people globally diagnosed with a solid tumor each year. With its multiplatform approach, Ziopharm is at the forefront of immuno-oncology with a goal to treat any type of solid tumor. Ziopharm’s pipeline is built for commercially scalable, cost effective T-cell receptor T-cell therapies based on its non-viral Sleeping Beauty gene transfer platform, a precisely controlled IL-12 gene therapy, and rapidly manufactured Sleeping Beauty-enabled CD19-specific CAR-T program. The Company has clinical and strategic collaborations with the National Cancer Institute, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. For more information, please visit www.ziopharm.com.

Forward-Looking Statements Disclaimer
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts, and in some cases can be identified by terms such as "may," "will," "could," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," and "believes." These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the progress, design and timing of the Company's research and development programs and the potential benefits of the Company’s therapies. Although Ziopharm’s management team believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, investors are cautioned that forward-looking information and statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of Ziopharm, that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties include among other things, changes in our operating plans that may impact our cash expenditures, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, future clinical data and analysis, including whether any of Ziopharm’s product candidates will advance further in the preclinical research or clinical trial process, including receiving clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies to conduct clinical trials and whether and when, if at all, they will receive final approval from the U.S. FDA or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies and for which indication; the strength and enforceability of Ziopharm’s intellectual property rights; competition from other pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies as well as risk factors discussed or identified in the public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission made by Ziopharm, including those risks and uncertainties listed in Ziopharm’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed by Ziopharm with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We are providing this information as of the date of this press release, and Ziopharm does not undertake any obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release whether as a result of new information, future events or any other reason.

Investor Relations Contacts:
Ziopharm Oncology:                                                                 
Chris Taylor                                                                               
VP, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
T: 617.502.1881
E: ctaylor@ziopharm.com

LifeSci Advisors:                                                                      
Mike Moyer
Managing Director
T: 617.308.4306
E: mmoyer@lifesciadvisors.com

Media Relations Contact:
LifeSci Communications:
Patrick Bursey
T: 646.876.4932
E: pbursey@lifescicomms.com

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