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Juno Therapeutics Strengthens Multiple Capabilities Through Acquisition of Stage Cell Therapeutics

  • Transaction Provides Transformative Cell Selection and Activation Capabilities, Advanced Manufacturing Automation, Improved Supply Chain, and Lower Expected Cost of Goods
  • Initial Payment of €52.5 Million in Cash (Approximately $59 Million) and 486,279 Shares of Juno Stock

SEATTLE, May 11, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Juno Therapeutics (Nasdaq:JUNO), a biopharmaceutical company focused on re-engaging the body's immune system to revolutionize the treatment of cancer, announced today that it has acquired Stage Cell Therapeutics GmbH ("Stage"), a privately held biotechnology company based in Munich and Göttingen, Germany. The transaction furthers Juno's strategy of being a world leader in process development and the manufacturing of cellular therapies. The acquisition provides Juno access to transformative cell selection and activation capabilities, next generation manufacturing automation technologies, enhanced control of its supply chain, and lower expected long-term cost of goods. Juno plans to operate the acquired company, which employs 23 scientists, engineers, and other personnel, as a wholly-owned German subsidiary under the name Juno Therapeutics GmbH.

"This important acquisition is driven by our strategy to have best in class process development and manufacturing capabilities in support of our goal of developing next generation CAR and TCR products," said Hans Bishop, CEO. "We welcome our new colleagues in Germany to the Juno family, and we look forward to working together to develop and commercialize best in class therapies."

"We are very excited to be part of Juno. Combining our capabilities with Juno's has the potential to accelerate our impact in the battle against cancer," said Dr. Lothar Germeroth, Managing Director of Juno Therapeutics GmbH.

Since its founding in 2005, Stage has been translating innovative and unique science and technology into cell therapeutics. The company´s next generation cell isolation and expansion technology platforms are based on fully reversible reagents that enable the advanced isolation and expansion of T cells during the manufacturing process. Juno will invest in commercially scaling these and other technologies for incorporation into next-generation CAR and TCR product candidates.

Juno made an upfront payment of €52.5 million in cash (approximately $59 million) and 486,279 shares of Juno stock to acquire the 95% of Stage not already owned by Juno. Juno is also obligated to pay success based payments of up to €135 million based upon the achievement of development and commercialization milestones related to novel reagents (€40 million), advanced automation technology (€65 million), and Stage's existing clinical pipeline (€30 million).

About Juno Therapeutics, Inc.

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 the clinical trials in refractory leukemia and lymphoma conducted to date. Juno'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.

Juno Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding Juno's strategy, ambitions, capabilities, and business plans, particularly with respect to process development, the manufacturing of cellular therapies and generating next generation CAR and TCR products, improving control of Juno's supply chain and cost of goods, and the potential of the acquired technology. 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, and Juno's ability to finance these activities and 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 ability to effectively integrate the acquired technologies and employees into Juno's operations and strategy and to realize the intended benefits of the transaction; 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 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.

CONTACT: Investor Relations Contact: David Walsey, W2O Group dwalsey@w2ogroup.com, 858-617-0772 Media Contact: Julie Normart, W2O Group jnormart@w2ogroup.com, 415-946-1087

Source:Juno Therapeutics