ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. (Nasdaq: ZIOP), a drug development company employing small molecule and synthetic biology approaches to cancer therapy, today announced that it has appointed Caesar J. Belbel, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary of the Company. In this position, Mr. Belbel will be responsible for the Company’s legal affairs and report to Richard Bagley, President, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Belbel has served as a general counsel, transaction lawyer and senior executive for approximately 25 years. His expertise includes contractual matters; merger, acquisition and divestiture transactions; litigation management; corporate governance and regulatory compliance; and the discovery, establishment and enforcement of intellectual property rights. Since 2003, Mr. Belbel served as Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary of Clinical Data, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company which was acquired in April 2011 by Forest Laboratories, Inc. Prior to joining Clinical Data, Mr. Belbel served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Xpedior Incorporated, a publicly-held internet consulting services and e-commerce software development company. Mr. Belbel also served as General Counsel and Secretary for Programart Corporation, a developer of application performance management software, and Astea International Inc., a publicly-held developer and vendor of customer relationship management (CRM) application software. Mr. Belbel also has been a corporate partner in the emerging companies practice group of McDermott, Will & Emery. Mr. Belbel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University and a Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School. “Caesar’s legal and strategic insight will be of enormous benefit as we develop our product candidate portfolio” stated Mr. Bagley. “Caesar is a highly accomplished corporate counselor and advisor whom we are pleased to welcome to the ZIOPHARM team.” “The management team at ZIOPHARM has advanced, through thoughtful development strategies, a diversified and uniquely promising pipeline of oncology therapeutics,” said Mr. Belbel. “I look forward to working with the team at this important time in the Company’s development and to contributing to ZIOPHARM in its mission of developing better cancer medicines.”
About ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc.:ZIOPHARM Oncology is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development and commercialization of a diverse portfolio of cancer therapeutics. The Company is currently focused on several clinical programs. Palifosfamide (Zymafos™ or ZIO-201) is a novel DNA cross-linker in class with bendamustine, ifosfamide, and cyclophosphamide and is currently in a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled Phase 3 trial with palifosfamide administered intravenously for the treatment of metastatic soft tissue sarcoma in the front-line setting. The Company is also currently conducting a Phase 1 study of palifosfamide in combination with standard of care for addressing small cell lung cancer, an oral form of palifosfamide continues in preclinical study. Darinaparsin (Zinapar™ or ZIO-101) is a novel mitochondrial-targeted agent (organic arsenic) currently in a solid tumor Phase I study with oral administration and has been developed intravenously for the treatment of relapsed peripheral T-cell lymphoma. Indibulin (Zybulin™ or ZIO-301) is a novel, oral tubulin binding agent that is expected to have several potential benefits including oral dosing, application in multi-drug resistant tumors, no neuropathy and a quite tolerable toxicity profile. It is currently being studied in Phase 1/2 in metastatic breast cancer. ZIOPHARM is also pursuing the development of novel DNA-based therapeutics in the field of cancer pursuant to a partnering arrangement with Intrexon Corporation. The partnership includes two existing clinical-stage product candidates, both of which are currently in Phase 1. ZIOPHARM's operations are located in Boston, MA and Germantown, MD with an executive office in New York City. Further information about ZIOPHARM may be found at www.ziopharm.com. ZIOP-G Forward-Looking Safe Harbor Statement: This press release contains forward-looking statements for ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause ZIOPHARM Oncology's actual results to differ materially from the anticipated results and expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from these statements. Among other things, there can be no assurance that any of ZIOPHARM Oncology's development efforts relating to its product candidates will be successful, or such product candidates will be successfully commercialized. Other risks that affect forward-looking information contained in this press release include the possibility of being unable to obtain regulatory approval of ZIOPHARM Oncology's product candidates, the risk that the results of clinical trials may not support ZIOPHARM Oncology's claims, the risk that pre-clinical or clinical trials will proceed on schedules that are consistent with ZIOPHARM Oncology's current expectations or at all, risks related to ZIOPHARM Oncology's ability to protect its intellectual property and its reliance on third parties to develop its product candidates, risks related to the sufficiency of existing capital reserves to fund continued operations for a particular amount of time and uncertainties regarding ZIOPHARM Oncology's ability to obtain additional financing to support its operations thereafter, as well as other risks regarding ZIOPHARM Oncology's that are more fully discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in ZIOPHARM Oncology's filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "may," "will," "intend," "should," "could," "can," "would," "expect," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "potential," "plan," "is designed to," "target" and similar expressions. ZIOPHARM Oncology assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.