Juno Therapeutics and WuXi AppTec announced that they started the new company in China earlier this week. The new company hopes to become China’s “leading cell therapy company” by combining the expertise of both companies, specifically, Juno’s chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and T cell receptor (TCR) technologies and WuXi’s R&D and manufacturing platform.
With these combined capabilities, JW Biotechnolgoy will develop novel cell-based immunotherapies for patients with hematologic and solidorgan cancers.
“Juno’s goal is to create novel immuno-oncology therapies to treat cancer patients around the world across a range of cancer types. Over 2.5 million people in China die annually from cancer, making it imperative for us to find an effective structure to reach these patients,” said Hans Bishop, Juno’s President and CEO.
According to Dr. Ge Li, Chairman and CEO of WuXi AppTec, China’s recently regulatory reforms are expected to drive growth and demand for medications that target unmet needs in China. He added that the company’s mission is to enable the development and commercialization of such products in China by leveraging WuXi’s platforms, in addition to strategic partnerships with other organizations.
Li, formerly a Kleiner Perkins partner and General Manager of Amgen China, is a co-founder of the new company and will serve as JW Biotechnology’s Chairman of the Board. Other board members include Dr. James Li, Hans Bishop, Steve Harr, M.D., Juno’s Chief Financial Officer and Head of Corporate Development, and Edward Hu, WuXi AppTec’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Investment Officer.
”JW Biotechnology (Shanghai)Co., Ltd will leverage Juno’s expertise in cell therapy technologies and WuXi AppTec’s excellence in contract services, and collaborate broadly with Chinese medical communities and government regulators to develop cell therapies that will deliver cutting-edge cancer treatments to Chinese patients,”added Dr. James Li, CEO of JW Biotechnology. “These novel technologies offer a unique opportunity that holds the potential to save lives while transforming the treatment of cancer.”
Both companies have equal ownership in JW Biotechnology, initially, and Juno will receive upfront payments in equity, milestone payments, and royalties on any net sales.
WuXi also announced this week that its Lab Testing Division (LTD)'s late-and commercial-stage analytical and stability testing facilities in Shanghai have successfully passed an FDA inspection for GMP compliance. WuXi LTD's quality system was examined during a 4-day inspection focusing on data integrity and compliance across its GMP analytical and stability testing facilities.