Juno Therapeutics is selling off for the second day in a row after the company released additional data from the TRANSCEND study of JCAR017 in patients with relapsed or refractory (r/r) aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in a presentation at the 59th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition over the weekend.
While the data remains very impressive, with lymphoma patients who have run out of options seeing complete responses, Juno is still behind its CAR-T (chimeric antigen receptor T-cell) rivals Novartis (NVS) and Gilead (GILD) in the blood cancer space.
Last week, Juno announced three license agreements to advance its program in multiple myeloma using gamma secretase inhibitors (GSIs) in combination with BCMA-directed CAR T cells. This is another market where Juno is behind, as blue bird bio (BLUE) -- partnered with Celgene (CELG), who coincidentally owns almost 10% of Juno shares -- has reported impressive results in its anti-BCMA CAR-T therapy targeting multiple mylemoa. BLUE surged to new highs yesterday on the strong results.
Juno shares are back at support in the mid-$40s after closing below the 50-day moving average yesterday. The stock is down down dramatically this week but has still had a great year, up 140% year-to-date and almost 50% since Gilead acquired its rival Kite Pharma for $12 billion. The long-awaited big M&A deal from Gilead really validated CAR-T therapy, which is arguably the most exciting sect of the immune-oncology revolution we have seen in recent years. Juno is partnered with oncology giant and Juno investor Celgene on its lymphoma franchise. Juno's market cap is currently $5.2 billion.