Biotech Strategy Blog

Commentary on Science, Innovation & New Products with a focus on Oncology, Hematology & Cancer Immunotherapy

Yesterday, Juno Therapeutics and Celgene announced a ten year collaboration that is expected to close in July-August.  In short, Celgene has exclusive right to entire the Juno portfolio in oncology and auto-immune cell therapy products in development outside North America and co-promote certain programs globally (not specified).  Juno, meanwhile, gains the option to co-develop and co-promote select Celgene programs (also not specified).

You can see the terms of the deal here.

And listen to the webcast from the call after hours.

This news comes hot on the foot of an earlier announcement that the FDA accepted the Juno IND for JCAR017, a CD19 CAR T cell therapy being developed in relapsed/refractory NHL scheduled to initiate in 2015, with the possibility of a registration trial commencing in 2016.

What was fascinating, however, was the BioTwitter reactions last night – predictably, people either loved or hated the news – it clearly came as a surprise to many.

This morning my inbox is full of questions on this dramatic topic from subscribers, so here are some topline thoughts on this issue to answer the questions coming in.

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2 Responses to “Juno and Celgene’s unexpected CAR-T cell and TCR collaboration”

  1. kirkhartley

    Thank you Sally; I was beginning to doubt my sanity in liking the deal. At the end of the day, analysts tend not to like deals they cannot put into a spreadsheet and so the lack of joy is understandable.

    • maverickny

      Yes great point Kirk! This is not one for spreadsheets and with a low upfront payment it doesn’t affect the immediate P&L or balance sheet that much. What’s interesting is that it could be seen as a defensive move by Celgene after Carl June and UPenn presented the CTL019 myeloma data at ASGCT and ASCO… if they get it working well with improved dosing, it actually might be a viable therapy in that disease, plus they tested it after a second SCT before other therapies. CELG will want to defend the MM franchise keenly.

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