Published 23 January 2018
Celgene has signed an agreement to acquire integrated biopharmaceutical firm Juno Therapeutics for around $9bn.
Under the deal, Celgene will purchase Juno’s stock by paying $87 per share in cash.
Juno is engaged in the development of novel cellular immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer.
The company has developed cell-based cancer immunotherapies based on chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and high-affinity T cell receptor (TCR) technologies to genetically engineer T cells to distinguish and kill cancer.
The acquisition will add JCAR017 (lisocabtagene maraleucel; liso-cel) to Celgene’s lymphoma program. It is a CD19-directed CAR T currently in a pivotal program for relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).
In the US, JCAR017 is expected to receive approval in 2019.
In addition, the deal will add a new scientific platform and scalable manufacturing capabilities that will support Celgene’s leadership in hematology and oncology.
Through taking the support of Juno’s team in Seattle, Celgene intends to expand its existing center of excellence for immuno-oncology translational medicine.
In June 2015, Celgene collaborated with Juno to develop medicines for patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases with a primary focus on CAR T and TCR technologies.
In April 2016, Celgene exerted its option to develop and commercialize the Juno CD19 program outside North America and China.
Subject to customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to complete in the first quarter of this year.
Celgene CEO Mark Alles said: “Juno’s advanced cellular immunotherapy portfolio and research capabilities strengthen Celgene’s global leadership in hematology and adds new drivers for growth beyond 2020.”
Juno president and CEO Hans Bishop said: “The people at Juno channel their passion for science and patients towards a common goal of finding cures by creating cell therapies that help people live longer, better lives.”