Celgene Corporation and Juno Therapeutics, Inc. have signed a definitive merger agreement in which Celgene has agreed to acquire Juno.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, Celgene will pay $87 per share in cash, or a total of approximately $9 billion, net of cash and marketable securities acquired and Juno shares already owned by Celgene (approximately 9.7% of outstanding shares). The transaction was approved by the boards of both companies.
Juno is a pioneer in the development of CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) T and TCR (T cell receptor) therapeutics with a broad, novel portfolio evaluating multiple targets and cancer indications. Adding to Celgene’s lymphoma program, JCAR017 (lisocabtagene maraleucel; liso-cel) represents a potentially best-in-class CD19-directed CAR T currently in a pivotal program for relapsed and/or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).
Regulatory approval for JCAR017 in the U.S. is expected in 2019 with potential global peak sales of approximately $3 billion.
The acquisition will also add a novel scientific platform and scalable manufacturing capabilities which will complement Celgene’s position in hematology and oncology. In collaboration with Juno’s team in Seattle, Celgene plans to expand its existing center of excellence for immuno-oncology translational medicine by leveraging Juno’s research and development facility in Seattle, WA as well as Juno’s manufacturing facility in Bothell, WA.
Strategic Rationale for Acquiring Juno
Upon completion of the acquisition of Juno, Celgene will be positioned to become a preeminent cellular immunotherapy company. The strategic advantages of this acquisition will include the opportunity to:
- Leverage a novel scientific platform and scalable manufacturing capabilities to position Celgene at the forefront of future advances in the science of cellular immunotherapy
- Accelerate Juno’s pipeline development to capture the full potential of cellular immunotherapy
- JCAR017, a pivotal stage asset, with an emerging favorable profile in DLBCL, is expected to add approximately $3 billion in peak sales and significantly strengthen Celgene’s lymphoma portfolio
- JCARH125 will enhance Celgene’s campaign against BCMA (B-cell maturation antigen), a key target in multiple myeloma
- Additional cellular therapy assets in proof-of-concept trials for hematologic malignancies and solid tumors will add to Celgene’s existing pipeline
- Accelerate revenue diversification with meaningful growth drivers beyond 2020
- Capture 100 percent of the global economics on all Juno’s cellular immunotherapy assets
The transaction is anticipated to close in the first quarter of 2018.
(Source: Celgene Corporation)