Celgene acquires Juno Therapeutics for $9bn

By Catherine Sturman
Following on from its acquisition of Impact Biomedicines for $7 billion, biopharmaceutical company Celgene has now acquired Juno Therapeutics for $9 bil...

Following on from its acquisition of Impact Biomedicines for $7 billion, biopharmaceutical company Celgene has now acquired Juno Therapeutics for $9 billion. The merger will see the company work to join Gilead and Novartis in the development of CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) and TCR (T cell receptor), becoming CAR-T therapeutics.

The process encompasses the extraction of a patient’s immune cells, which are then modified to attack cancer cells when reinserted into the patient.

Juno is a pioneer in the development of CAR-T therapeutics with a broad, novel portfolio evaluating multiple targets and cancer indications. Adding to Celgene’s lymphoma program, JCAR017 represents a potentially best-in-class CD19-directed CAR T currently in a pivotal program for relapsed and/or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).

Regulatory approval for JCAR017 in the U.S. is expected in 2019 with potential global peak sales of approximately $3 billion.

“The acquisition of Juno builds on our shared vision to discover and develop transformative medicines for patients with incurable blood cancers,” explained Mark J. Alles, Celgene’s Chief Executive Officer.

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“Juno’s advanced cellular immunotherapy portfolio and research capabilities strengthen Celgene’s global leadership in haematology and adds new drivers for growth beyond 2020.”

JCAR017 is expected to add approximately $3 billion in peak sales and significantly strengthen Celgene’s lymphoma portfolio, whereas JCARH125 will enhance Celgene’s campaign against BCMA (B-cell maturation antigen), a key target in multiple myeloma

The acquisition will also add a novel scientific platform and scalable manufacturing capabilities which will complement Celgene’s leadership in haematology and oncology.

In collaboration with Juno’s team in Seattle, Celgene plans to expand its existing centre of excellence for immuno-oncology translational medicine by leveraging Juno’s research and development facility in Seattle, WA as well as Juno’s manufacturing facility in Bothell, WA.

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