What: Shares of Ziopharm Oncology , a small-cap biotech company developing viral and cell-based therapies for the treatment of cancer and graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), rose a noteworthy 23.8% in October, according to data provided by S&P Capital IQ.
While there wasn't a specific catalyst that drove shares higher for the month, the company did kick off October byforming a new Exclusive Channel Collaboration with Intrexonfor the treatment and prevention of GvHD in the allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) setting. Per the terms of the deal, Ziopharm will payIntrexon a technology access fee of $10 million in cash, as well as reimburse its partner for all research and development costs.
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So what:Nearly 50% of HSCT procedures are allogeneic, meaning from an unrelated donor. Meanwhile, an estimated 35% to 50% of patients receiving allogeneic HSCT are afflicted with acute GvHD.Ziopharm is thus hoping to one day broaden the number of patients eligible for allogeneic HSCT through this new research collaboration with Intrexon.
Now what:As Ziopharm is an early-stage biotech company, all eyes are undoubtedly going to be on its clinical progress at this point in its life cycle. Fortunately, the company is on track to provide a clinical update for its ongoing IL-12 gene therapy study in recurrent or progressive glioblastoma at the upcoming Society for Neuro-Oncology scheduled to take place from Nov. 19 to Nov. 22. Following this, the company is expected to release some preliminary data from an early-stage breast cancer trial at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium this December.
Until these forthcoming data releases are out, however, investors may want to remain cautious with this experimental-stage immuno-oncology company. After all, there isn't a whole lot of data out yet, making it difficult to even form an opinion on the biotech's diverse clinical program.
The article Is Ziopharm Oncology's Stock a Buy After Gaining 23% in October? originally appeared on Fool.com.
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