SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Juno Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: JUNO), a biopharmaceutical company focused on re-engaging the body’s immune system to revolutionize the treatment of cancer, and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Fred Hutch) today announced the creation of a new, best-in-class clinical trials unit (CTU) dedicated to immuno-oncology.
University of Washington, the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), Fred Hutch, and Juno are all investing in the CTU, and Juno will also provide research funds to Fred Hutch in support of pre-clinical and clinical research focused on the development of improved cancer immunotherapies.
“Immuno-oncology, and in particular, T cell therapies are advancing at a rapid pace, and translational medicine and clinical care of patients need to move as quickly as the basic science,” said Mark J. Gilbert, M.D., Juno’s Chief Medical Officer. “We are pleased to work with these world-leading institutions to accelerate the pace of learning for the field and the standard of care for patients. Our ongoing CAR T cell trials have highlighted the opportunity for strong translational medicine to improve our therapies and for dedicated clinical scientists to improve patient outcomes.”
“Establishing this clinical trials unit is vital to accelerating our lifesaving research,” said Fred Hutch President and Director Gary Gilliland, M.D., Ph.D. “We are on the precipice of multiple curative therapies, and the investment of Juno and the SCCA in our science will be catalytic in moving our discoveries into patients.”
“Clinical trials are crucial steps in bringing safer, more effective cancer therapies to the patients who need them,” said Fred Appelbaum, M.D., SCCA Executive Director and President. “The CTU will enable patients participating in clinical trials to get all of their care at a single site, with a team of dedicated surgeons, radiologists, pathologists and medical oncologists.”
In addition to consolidating trial participants’ care into one location, the new unit will have dedicated space for research teams to handle specimens and collect trial data. The CTU is expected to be operational in mid-2016 and will be available for studies supported by Juno and other drugmakers.
Juno Therapeutics is building a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company focused on revolutionizing medicine by re-engaging the body’s immune system to treat 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 evidence of tumor shrinkage 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, 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.
About Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch’s pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer with minimal side effects. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation’s first and largest cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women’s Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network. For more information, visit www.fredhutch.org or follow Fred Hutch on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance brings together the leading research teams and cancer specialists from Fred Hutch, Seattle Children’s and UW Medicine - one extraordinary group whose sole purpose is the pursuit of better, longer, richer lives of our patients. Based in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, SCCA has six clinical care sites, including a medical oncology clinic at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, Washington; medical and radiation oncology clinics at UW Medicine/Northwest Hospital & Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, a Proton Therapy Center, as well as Network affiliations with hospitals in five states. For more information about SCCA, visit seattlecca.org.
Juno’s Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding Juno’s business plans, the potential of T cell therapeutics, clinical trial results and clinical trial plans, and planned activities and potential payments under the agreement between Juno and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. 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 of product candidates for which Celgene exercises an option; 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 Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 12, 2015 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.