$1bn T-cell immune-oncology JV for Celgene and Juno

By Fiona BARRY

- Last updated on GMT

Celgene will pay Juno an initial $1bn
Celgene will pay Juno an initial $1bn

Related tags B cell

US biopharmas Celgene and Juno are entering a $1bn, 10-year immunotherapy partnership.

The joint venture aims to bring Juno’s T-cell tech to market outside North America, including Chimeric Antigen Receptor Technology (CAR-T) and T cell Receptor (TCR) platforms. The companies will co-promote other Juno programmes worldwide.

Celgene will make an initial payment of around $1bn, made up of 9.1m Juno shares and $150m cash.

Celgene has the option to commercialise Juno’s oncology and cell therapy auto-immune product candidates, including CD19- and CD22-directed CAR-T product candidates.

Outside of CD19 and CD22, Celgene can pick two of Juno’s pipelines for share expenses and profits with Juno for all markets, except China.

Juno’s B-Cell Maturation Antigen (BCMA) not part of the collaboration. Juno also retains R&D and commercialistion rights for all its drug candidates in North America.

Juno will have the option to partner with Celgene on certain of Celgene’s candidates that target T-cells, and receive 30% of the profits.

Approvals by 2020

In a conference call,​ Celgene CEO Bob Hugin told investors the partnership could effect product approvals by 2020. “We do not anticipate any meaningful collaboration related costs to impact our near-term [profit and loss],​” he added.

“One of the unique features of this collaboration is that our equity ownership can increase over time and allow Celgene's shareholders to benefit by the broader value creation in Juno​,” said Hugin.

Barney Cassidy, Juno General Counsel and Secretary, said the collaboration will add value to both companies in deals with third-party partners looking to exploit T-cell tech:

If you need a transducer, that is what Juno good at, if the small molecule is relevant or protein, they are some of the things that Celgene is great at. We think that together, we really can be super-competitive of assets, given the potential for modulating these cells in different ways.​”

The companies did not disclose whether Juno will retain manufacturing rights for drugs Celgene markets under the partnership.

Juno’s shares closed at $52.37 on the NASDAQ yesterday, compared to $46.61 the Friday before the deal was announced on Monday, June 29.  

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