© LUCY READING-IKKANDACancer therapies that use modified T cells that express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) as a way to target and kill tumor cells just got a big shot in the arm. Celgene, the global biopharmaceutical company headquartered in New Jersey, signed a $1 billion deal with Juno Therapeutics to develop CAR T-Cell immunotherapies for cancer.
“This transaction strengthens Celgene’s position in the emerging and transformative area of immuno-oncology,” Bob Hugin, chairman and CEO of Celgene, said in a statement from the company. “Juno has assembled world class experts and built impressive capabilities and technologies in the areas of T-cell biology and cellular therapy; we believe this long-term collaboration enhances the potential of both companies to deliver transformational therapies to patients with significant unmet medical needs.”
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According to Fierce Biotech, Juno’s shares shot up 45 percent after the deal was announced on Monday (June 29). “Celgene is a world class oncology company that is investing a billion dollars in our company, and I do think that reinforces our belief in the potential of using Car-T in solid tumors,” Juno CEO Hans Bishop told The Financial Times. “It’s clearly a very significant deal financially, but more important is the potential of the science and the potential together to be a broader leader in the immuno-oncology space.”