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Ziopharm Oncology Inc. said Friday that the Food and Drug Administration will allow it to conduct human testing of an experimental melanoma drug.

The company said the FDA accepted its application for the drug. It designated the product ZIN ATI-001 and said it plans to start an early-stage clinical trial to evaluate its safety and its effects. Ziopharm said new preclinical studies indicate the new drug candidate works similarly to a DNA drug in early-stage testing.

ZIN ATI-001 is being developed as part of a partnership between Ziopharm and Intrexon Corp.

Ziopharm's most advanced drug candidates include treatments for myeloma, leukemia and lymphoma, and liver cancer. Those products are all in mid-stage testing.

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