SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Juno Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: JUNO), a biopharmaceutical company developing innovative cellular immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, today announced it has appointed Sunil Agarwal, M.D., as President of Research and Development. With Dr. Agarwal’s appointment, Juno will bring Research and Development under one leader responsible for the execution of Juno’s drug development pipeline, integration of translational insights into ongoing programs, and the prioritization of research and development initiatives. Prior to joining Juno, Dr. Agarwal’s last industry role was Chief Medical Officer, Executive Vice President at Ultragenyx.
“Sunil is a strong strategic thinker and experienced drug developer who will be a great addition to our executive team,” said Hans Bishop, President and CEO of Juno. “He has an established track record of bringing innovative therapies to market, demonstrated by the breadth and quality of the programs he has led. His drug development experience, instincts, and scientific judgment will be important for our next phase of growth, and we will benefit from his experience and insight in both our strategy and execution.”
Prior to his tenure at Ultragenyx, Dr. Agarwal worked in several senior leadership roles at Genentech, Inc., most recently as Senior Vice President, Global Development Head, Ophthalmology, Metabolism, Neuroscience, Immunology and Infectious Diseases. He was responsible for the global development of programs in these areas from proof of concept (PoC) through Phase IV. He was also a member of both the Genentech Research and Early Development (gRED) and Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED) committees, which defined the strategy of all molecules from pre-Investigational New Drug through PoC in numerous therapeutic areas, including oncology. He has led global approvals of multiple therapies and successfully built and led large global development organizations in multiple geographies. At Juno, Dr. Agarwal will report to Mr. Bishop and will be a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.
“Transforming innovative science into meaningful medicines for patients and building strong organizations fits very well with my passion, experience, and expertise,” said Dr. Agarwal. “Engineered cell and gene therapies have the potential to transform the landscape of medicine over the coming decade, and Juno is well positioned to be a leader in this era. I am delighted to join Juno at this exciting time for the company, and I look forward to partnering with the team on executing Juno’s vision.”
Dr. Agarwal obtained his bachelor of science in Neurobiology at Cornell University and earned his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Children's National Medical Center, Washington, D.C., and subsequently joined the faculty at George Washington University School of Medicine.
Juno Therapeutics is building a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative cellular immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer. Founded on the vision that the use of human cells as therapeutic entities will drive one of the next important phases in medicine, Juno is developing cell-based cancer immunotherapies based on chimeric antigen receptor and high-affinity T cell receptor technologies to genetically engineer T cells to recognize and kill cancer. Juno is developing multiple cell-based product candidates to treat a variety of B-cell malignancies as well as solid tumors. Several product candidates have shown compelling clinical responses in clinical trials in refractory leukemia and lymphoma conducted to date. Juno's long-term aim is to leverage its cell-based platform to develop new product candidates that address a broader range of cancers and human diseases. Juno brings together innovative technologies from some of the world's leading research institutions, including the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Seattle Children's Research Institute (SCRI), the University of California, San Francisco, and The National Cancer Institute. Juno Therapeutics has an exclusive license to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital patented technology for CD19-directed product candidates that use 4-1BB, which was developed by Dario Campana, Chihaya Imai, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Juno’s product candidate JCAR017 was developed in collaboration with SCRI and others.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including statements regarding Juno’s mission, progress, and business plans. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements, and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks associated with: the success, cost, and timing of Juno's product development activities and clinical trials; Juno's ability to obtain regulatory approval for and to commercialize its product candidates; Juno's ability to establish a commercially-viable manufacturing process and manufacturing infrastructure; regulatory requirements and regulatory developments; success of Juno's competitors with respect to competing treatments and technologies; Juno's dependence on third-party collaborators and other contractors in Juno's research and development activities, including for the conduct of clinical trials and the manufacture of Juno's product candidates; Juno's dependence on Celgene for the development and commercialization outside of North America and China of Juno’s CD19 product candidates and any other product candidates for which Celgene exercises an option; Juno’s dependence on JW Therapeutics (Shanghai) Co., Ltd, over which Juno does not exercise complete control, for the development and commercialization of product candidates in China; Juno's ability to obtain, maintain, or protect intellectual property rights related to its product candidates; amongst others. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to Juno's business in general, see Juno's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 1, 2017 and Juno’s other periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. Juno disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.