$1bn investment in 10-year CAR-T cell partnership for cancer treatments

US biopharmaceutical firm Celgene is to bolster its position in the emerging field of cell therapy through a collaboration with biotech Juno Therapeutics. The companies have signed a 10-year deal to develop cancer and auto-immune disease treatments based on Juno’s expertise in chimeric antigen receptor T-cells, or CAR-T cells, and T-cell receptor technologies, designed to harness the cell-killing power of the immune system.

Celgene will have first option to commercialise Juno’s existing CAR-T candidate products. The company will also be able to commercialise Juno-originated products emerging from the collaboration outside of the US, while Juno will be eligible to take on a 30% share in the profits (and costs) of Celgene-originated projects.

Celgene is paying $150 million (£96 million) up front, as well as buying an approximate 10% stake in Juno, bringing the total value of the deal to around $1 billion.