SEATTLE, June 29, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 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 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted the Company's investigational new drug (IND) application for JCAR017 for patients with relapsed/refractory (r/r) B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or NHL. JCAR017 is a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell product candidate targeting CD19, a protein expressed on the surface of most B cell leukemias and lymphomas.
The IND enables Juno to initiate a multi-center Phase I trial exploring JCAR017 for r/r NHL, scheduled to begin in 2015, with the potential to advance to a registration trial in 2016.
"Based on the encouraging results of JCAR017 in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia, we are excited to begin investigating this product candidate in non-Hodgkin lymphoma," said Mark Frohlich, M.D., Juno EVP of development and portfolio strategy. "FDA acceptance of the JCAR017 IND for this multi-institutional study is an important milestone for Juno. Together with our planned fully-human CD19 CAR-T cell trial, combination study with AstraZeneca's anti-PDL-1 antibody, and ongoing translational clinical trial with JCAR014, it will provide important biologic insights that will inform our future strategies."
In collaboration with Seattle Children's Research Institute, Juno continues to investigate JCAR017 in pediatric patients with r/r acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Results of a Phase I study to date demonstrated 91 percent of patients achieved a complete remission, all of which were documented by flow cytometry. Adverse events were consistent with what has been previously reported. The results were presented in an oral presentation at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2015 in Philadelphia.
About Juno's Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) and T Cell Receptor (TCR) Technologies
Juno's chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and T cell receptor technologies (TCR) 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.
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.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding possible studies and other clinical development activities with respect to our product candidates, as well as the possible timing of such studies and activities, and insights and strategies related to them. 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 Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 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.