SEATTLE, April 6, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Juno Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq:JUNO) today announced that it entered into a settlement agreement to resolve litigation with the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania ("Penn") and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation ("Novartis"). Juno became a party to the litigation after it entered into a December 2013 license agreement with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital ("St. Jude"), also a party in the litigation, for patent rights owned by St. Jude. The litigation itself, which began in July 2012 in connection with a contract dispute between St. Jude and Penn, was broadened in March 2013 to include a dispute concerning St. Jude's U.S. Patent No. 8,399,645, titled "Chimeric Receptors with 4-1BB Stimulatory Signaling Domain."
Under the terms of the settlement, Novartis agreed to make payments to Juno including an initial payment of $12.25 million, future milestone payments, and mid-single digit royalties from U.S. net sales of product candidates related to the disputed contract and patent claims, as well as a low double digit percentage of the royalties Novartis pays to Penn for global net sales for those product candidates. Payments received by Juno will be shared with St. Jude under the terms of the license agreement between Juno and St. Jude. The parties also agreed to dismiss all claims in the relevant legal proceedings.
"We are pleased by this settlement, which benefits patients by allowing each party to advance its promising cancer immunotherapies and rewards the investigators on whose insights those developments are based," said Juno CEO, Hans Bishop.
Juno Therapeutics, Inc. ("Juno") 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. Multiple product candidates have shown compelling evidence of tumor shrinkage in the clinical trials in refractory leukemia and lymphoma conducted to date. The company's long-term aim is to improve and 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.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the dismissal of certain litigation, future payments related to the settlement of that litigation, and the benefits of that settlement. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially 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: payments related to the settlement, the success, cost and timing of product development activities and clinical trials; the ability to obtain regulatory approval for and to commercialize product candidates; and regulatory requirements and regulatory developments; and 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 19, 2015. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and Juno disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.