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, today announced that encouraging clinical data from JCAR015, a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell product candidate, support its strategic approach towards the commercialization of its first CAR T therapy. Updated results will be presented today in an oral presentation at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago (Abstract #7003, Arie Crown Theater, 4:00 p.m. CT).
“The ongoing efficacy and duration of response for a large percentage of patients, specifically those who do not go on to stem cell transplant, continues to be impressive,” said Mark J. Gilbert, M.D., Juno’s Chief Medical Officer. “These findings provide us with further confidence about our development strategy and the ongoing Phase II ROCKET pivotal trial.”
In the Phase I study, presented by lead investigator Jae H. Park, M.D., of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 51 adult patients with relapsed or refractory (r/r) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) were treated with either cyclophosphamide or fludarabine/cyclophosphamide followed by an infusion of JCAR015. At the time of treatment, 31 patients had morphologic disease burden and 20 patients had minimal disease burden. Median study follow-up was 8.5 months. Key results include:
- Complete response (CR) was observed in 23/30 (77%) patients with morphologic disease and in 18/20 (90%) patients with minimal disease.
- In patients who achieved a CR and had adequate evaluation for minimal residual disease by flow cytometry or polymerase chain reaction, complete molecular remission was observed in 19/21 (90%) patients with morphologic disease and in 14/18 (78%) patients with minimal disease.
- Median overall survival (OS) for patients with minimal disease treated with JCAR015 was not reached, and that for morphologic patients treated with JCAR015 was 9 months; median OS follow-up for all patients was 13 months.
- Durable responses and survival observed in patients who received JCAR015 were comparable between groups that received a subsequent stem cell transplant and those that did not.
- Severe cytokine release syndrome (sCRS) was observed in 14/51 (27%) patients and Grade 3 or higher neurotoxicity was observed in 15/51 (29%) patients. For patients with minimal disease, 1/20 (5%) patients experienced sCRS and 4/20 (20%) patients had Grade 3 or higher neurotoxicity.
About Juno’s Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) and T Cell Receptor (TCR) Technologies
Juno’s CAR and TCR technologies genetically engineer T cells to recognize and kill cancer cells. Juno’s CAR T cell technology inserts a gene for a particular CAR into the T cell, enabling it to recognize cancer cells based on the expression of a specific protein located on the cell surface. Juno’s TCR technology provides the T cells with a specific T cell receptor to recognize protein fragments derived from either the surface or inside the cell. When either type of engineered T cell engages the target protein on the cancer cell, it initiates a cell-killing response against the cancer cell. JCAR015 is an investigational product candidate and its safety and efficacy have not been established.
Juno Therapeutics is building a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company focused on re-engaging the body’s immune system to revolutionize 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, 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 the Celgene Corporation and Juno Therapeutics, Inc. Collaboration
Celgene Corporation and Juno Therapeutics, Inc. are engaged in a ten-year collaboration to advance T cell therapeutic strategies to develop treatments for patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases, with an initial focus on CAR and TCR technologies. In April 2016 Celgene exercised its option under the collaboration to develop and commercialize the Juno CD19 program outside North America and China. The CD19 program includes investigational product candidates and their safety and efficacy have not been established.
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, clinical benefits, clinical trial results and the implications thereof, planned presentations at ASCO, clinical trial plans, commercial strategy, and emerging medical trends. 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 Biotechnology (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 Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 10, 2016 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.