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Celgene, Juno Ink $1 Billion Immunotherapy Deal

Silas Inman @silasinman
Published: Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

Bob Hugin

Bob Hugin
CEO of Celgene

Celgene has entered into a 10-year collaboration with the cellular immunotherapy company Juno Therapeutics, which includes an initial billion payment, according to a joint statement released by the companies.

Celgene has a number of already approved therapies for patients with hematologic malignancies and other types of cancer, including pomalidomide, lenalidomide, azacitidine, romidepsin, and nab-paclitaxel. Additionally, the company has a broad research pipeline.

"In addition to its established global presence and commercial reach, Celgene has leading small molecule and protein capabilities that complement Juno's advanced engineered T-cell capabilities," Bishop said. "By doing this together, we believe we can more quickly and effectively develop potentially disruptive therapies in this new field of medicine and make them more readily available to patients worldwide."

A number of companies are currently developing CAR-modified T-cell therapies. The CD19-targeted therapy CTL019 was the first such therapy to receive a breakthrough therapy designation from the FDA for the treatment of adult patients with ALL. CTL019 is manufactured through collaboration between the University of Pennsylvania and Novartis. Additionally, Kite Pharma and Amgen have partnered on the CAR T-cell therapy labeled KTE-C19.

In addition to Juno Therapeutics, Celgene has also formed a relationship with bluebird bio, another player in the CAR T-cell space. In March 2013, Celgene and bluebird entered into a collaboration that included 5 million per product developed.

In early June, the Celgene/bluebird collaboration was narrowed down to one product, bb2121, which targets B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA). This refocused deal included a million payment from Celgene to bluebird. In the Juno deal, BCMA agents were excluded from the collaboration.


  1. Park JH, Riviere I, Wang X, et al. Efficacy and safety of CD19-targeted 19-28z CAR modified T cells in adult patients with relapsed or refractory B-ALL. J Clin Oncol. 2015;33 (suppl; abstr 7010).
  2. Jensen MC. Advancing CAR T cell immunotherapy in Pediatric Oncology. Presented at: 2015 American Association of Cancer Research Annual Meeting.


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