Celgene has exercised an option to develop and commercialise Juno Therapeutics’ CD19 programme outside North America and China.
The company agreed to pay $50m in fee to Juno, which will retain CD19 programme rights in North America and China.
Celgene will also pay Juno a royalty at a percentage in the mid-teens on any future net sales of therapeutic products developed through the CD19 programme in its territories.
Juno said that it currently has three CD19-directed product candidates in clinical development, including JCAR015, JCAR017, and JCAR014.
JCAR015 is in a Phase II trial for adults with relapsed or refractory (r/r) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and JCAR017 is in two separate Phase I trials, one in paediatric patients with r/r ALL and another in patients with r/r non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
Juno’s JCAR014 is in a Phase I trial in three different indications, adult r/r/ ALL, r/r NHL, and r/r chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), as well as a trial in combination with AstraZeneca’s investigational programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) immune checkpoint inhibitor, durvalumab.
Juno president and CEO Hans Bishop said: "Our CD19-directed portfolio of drug candidates has shown encouraging efficacy and manageable toxicity in trials to date across a range of B cell malignancies, and we are pleased that Celgene has decided to opt in to the CD19 programme.
"Celgene’s development and commercial expertise, particularly in hematologic malignancies, make them our ideal partner and will accelerate our global development capabilities for patients with ALL, CLL, and NHL.
"The long-term collaboration with Celgene is an important component of our plan to develop our engineered T cell platform rapidly and effectively for the benefit of patients around the world, and we are encouraged by the progress we are making together."
In June last year, Celgene and Juno entered into a ten-year global collaboration to develop and commercialise cancer and autoimmune diseases immunotherapies.
The collaboration focuses chimeric antigen receptor technology (CAR-T) and T cell receptor (TCR) technologies.
Celgene agreed to make initial payment of approximately $1bn to Juno.