Celgene, Juno enter 10-year collaboration to develop cancer, autoimmune therapies

Celgene has entered into a 10-year agreement with Juno Therapeutics to develop treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases, the drugmakers announced Monday. Under the agreed terms, Celgene will make an initial payment of about $1 billion, which includes an upfront payment of $150 million and the purchase of about 9.1 million shares of Juno's stock for $93.00 per share. Shares in Juno surged as much as 60 percent on the news.

In the collaboration, which will initially focus on chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) and T cell receptor technologies, Juno will be responsible for all R&D in North America and hold commercialisation rights in the related markets while Celgene will be responsible for development and commercialisation in the rest of the world, with Juno eligible for royalties on non-North American sales. Moreover, Celgene has the option to partner with Juno in the commercialisation for Juno's oncology and cell therapy auto-immune product candidates, including the experimental CAR-T therapies CD19 and CD22.

Meanwhile, Juno will receive an option to enter into a co-development and co-commercialisation agreement for specific Celgene-originated development candidates targeting T cells.

Celgene CEO Bob Hugin remarked "this transaction strengthens Celgene's position in the emerging and transformative area of immuno-oncology." In addition, Celgene will be granted a right to appoint one member to Juno's board of directors, while the drugmaker will also hold an option to acquire additional shares up to a 30 percent stake in Juno.

For further analysis see ViewPoints: Celgene pays top dollar to be at the top CAR-Table

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