Celgene will pay Juno $50m for rights to its CD19 programme in markets outside North America and China. The companies will share global development expenses.
“We believe CD19 holds great potential for B cell malignancies including areas of disease focus that correspond with our longstanding commitment to hematology,” Celgene told us. “This is an important step in our long-term collaboration with Juno and we look forward to working on these programs.”
Juno currently has three CD19-directed product candidates in clinical development, including JCAR015, JCAR017, and JCAR014. JCAR015 is in a Phase II trial, JCAR017 is in two separate Phase I trials, and JCAR014 is in a Phase I trial for three different indications.
As part of the deal, Juno will retain commercialization rights in North America and China. With rights outside of North America and China, Celgene will pay Juno a royalty at a percentage in the mid-teens on any future net sales of therapeutic products developed through the CD19 program.
“Our CD19-directed portfolio of drug candidates has shown encouraging efficacy and manageable toxicity in trials to date across a range of B cell malignancies, and we are pleased that Celgene has decided to opt in to the CD19 program,” said Hans Bishop, Juno’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
“The long-term collaboration with Celgene is an important component of our plan to develop our engineered T cell platform rapidly and effectively for the benefit of patients around the world, and we are encouraged by the progress we are making together.”
Juno is also currently developing multiple cell-based product candidates to treat various B-cell malignancies in addition to solid tumors. According to the company, several product candidates have shown “compelling clinical responses” in clinical trials in refractory leukemia and lymphoma.