JUNO Therapeutics (NASDAQ: JUNO) is a biopharmaceutical company developing immunotherapy technologies to treat various types of cancer, presented yesterday updated data from two different trials - JCAR015 phase I trial for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and JCAR014 phase I/II trial for treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). The data updates were presented in an oral presentation today at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago. The data was impressed the scientific community and investors alike.
In addition, JUNO announced today the acquisition of X-BODY, Inc, a privately held biotechnology company. JUNO has been investing in best-in-class engineered T cells against a broad array of cancer targets, and this acquisition will provide JUNO with stronger antibody engineering capabilities through an innovative discovery platform developed by X-BODY. The platform interrogates human antibodies, and then selects fully human antibodies with desired characteristics, even against difficult targets.
The stock of JUNO surged more than 12% today after the news of the acquisition.
JUNO has two technologies; Chimeric Antigen Receptor Technology (CAR) and T Cell Receptors (TCR), each of which has a significant impact on utility of cancer immunotherapy. The company has 6 clinical trials targeting various cancers (ALL, NHL, acute myeloid leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and non-small cell lung cancer) as well as 3 additional pre-clinical trials for several additional diseases. JCAR015 has received "orphan drug" status and "breakthrough therapy" designation from the FDA last year.
JUNO has about $10 million of debt and about $400 million cash on hand. The company has attracted a number of investors and financial institutions including Arch Venture Partners, Alaska Permanent Fund and also from Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos.