BOSTON, May 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. (Nasdaq:ZIOP) today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013, and provided an update on the Company's key developments. ZIOPHARM reported a GAAP net loss of $12.8 million for the first quarter of 2013, or $(0.15) per share, compared to a GAAP net loss of $24.5 million, or $(0.32) per share, in the first quarter of 2012. Excluding non-cash income of $10.8 million attributable to the change in liability-classified warrants, Non-GAAP 1 net loss was $23.6 million, or $(0.28) per share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2013. In comparison, Non-GAAP 1 net loss for the first quarter of 2012 was $18.7 million, or $(0.25) per share, which excludes a non-cash loss of $5.8 million attributable to the change in liability-classified warrants. Operating expenses for the first quarter of 2013 were $23.8 million, compared to $18.8 million for the first quarter of 2012. The $5.0 million increase is attributable to ongoing activities for the adaptive Phase 3 trial (MATISSE) in small cell lung cancer (SCLC) that was initiated during the second quarter of 2012 and to expanded development and manufacturing activities supporting the Company's palifosfamide and synthetic biology program. The Company's cash used in operations during the first quarter of 2013 was $18.2 million, a decrease of $7.7 million from $25.9 million for the same period of 2012. The Company ended the first quarter with cash and cash equivalents of approximately $55.7 million and expects its existing cash resources to support operations into the first quarter of 2014. Recent Corporate Highlights In March, ZIOPHARM announced the initiation of a randomized, open label Phase 2 clinical study of Ad-RTS-IL-12 in combination with palifosfamide to treat patients with non-resectable recurrent or metastatic breast cancer. Ad-RTS-IL-12, a DNA-based therapeutic designed to express interleukin-12 (IL-12), a protein important to the generation of an immune response to cancer, is the Company's lead drug candidate. The two-part, multi-center U.S. study will enroll up to 68 patients with non-resectable, recurrent or metastatic breast cancer who have visible lesions or lesions accessible by injection. The study is designed to assess the safety and efficacy of the therapeutic combination of Ad-RTS-IL-12 and a chemotherapy agent.