Ziopharm Oncology’s intravenous Zymafos (palifosfamide or ZIO-201) has demonstrated promising clinical results in an ongoing Phase Ib open-label dose escalation study in patients with small cell lung cancer, and other selected cancers, when administered with etoposide and carboplatin.

The study included 22 patients and evaluated the safety and efficacy of the combination therapy. If found that the maximum tolerated dose of palifosfamide was 130 mg/m2 when administered in combination with etoposide and carboplatin.

Of the 22 patients, 13 are evaluable for efficacy. Five patients have partial responses, four have stable disease, and four have progressive disease.

Lead author Wael Harb said that the combination therapy was found to be well tolerated and demonstrated promising clinical activity in small cell lung cancer, germ cell tumour and ovarian cancer.

”I look forward to participating in the confirmatory study in small cell lung cancer," Harb added.

Palifosfamide, a DNA cross-linker in the same class as bendamustine, ifosfamide and cyclophosphamide, is being tested in a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled Phase III trial as a treatment of metastatic soft tissue sarcoma.