Shares of Juno Therapeutics Inc. (JUNO) were trading up +18.70 or +40.39 percent to $65.00 per share in Tuesday's premarket. Late yesterday, the company announced along with Celgene Corporation (CELG) that the two companies had agreed on a global collaboration for the development of treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases. Juno stock closed at $46.30 per share, down -0.31 or -0.67 percent in Monday's regular trading session.
Founded in 2013, Seattle, Washington based Juno Therapeutics Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that was created through the collaboration of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Children's Research Institute. Last December, Juno signed an agreement with Opus Bio Inc. for a chimeric antigen receptor or CAR-T cell product candidate which targeted CD22. The company then announced in May of 2015 its intention to take over Stage Cell Therapeutics for $223 million. Later in May, Juno announced its collaboration with Editas Medicine to create a CAR-T high affinity T-cell receptor therapy for the treatment of cancer. Earlier this month, the company announced it would acquire X-Body for over $44 million. Juno had its initial public offering at $24 per share in December of 2014.
Formerly a unit of the Celanese Corporation, Summit, New Jersey based Celgene Corporation is biotechnology company specializing in the development of drug therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory disorders. Celgene's products include Thalomid, a treatment for erythema nodosum leprosum, Revlimid, which has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of multiple myeloma and Vidaza, which is approved for the treatment of Myelodysplastic syndromes.
Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, Celgene will have the option to be the commercialization partner for Juno's oncology and cell therapy auto immune product candidates. These include Juno's CD19 and CD22 CAR-T product candidates. Juno will have the responsibility of research and development for the new treatments in the United States, while Celgene will be responsible for development and commercialization of the products in the collaboration for the rest of the world.
Hans Bishop, Chief Executive Officer of Juno said that, "Celgene is the ideal partner for Juno to help us realize the full potential of our science and clinical research while maintaining the independence we, our employees, partners, and investors believe is so critical for true innovation. This unique collaboration is designed to catalyze and create tremendous ongoing scientific and product development synergy by leveraging each company's strengths and assets. 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. 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."
The largest part of the $1 billion collaboration cost will go towards the purchase of approximately 9.1 million shares of Juno at $93 per share, almost double its closing price yesterday. While Celgene executives believe that the collaboration will change the way cancer is treated, many analysts think the company paid too much.
Juno shares are sharply higher, while Celgene shares are off a fraction in this morning's premarket, indicating that investors are confident with the deal. Celgene shares were trading a little under two percent lower earlier this morning.
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