Juno forges ahead with novel cancer therapy, opens manufacturing facility
- Although Juno Therapeutics is a start-up competing against heavyweights like Novartis, its CAR-T cancer immunotherapy platform is strong—strong enough to give it the confidence to open its own manufacturing facility in Washington state.
- Juno is attempting to change the standard of care for treating blood cancer with its CAR-T immunotherapy, in which a patient's own T-cells are modified, re-injected, and deployed to attack their cancer.
- Currently, Juno is competing head-to-head with Novartis, which is developing a similar CAR-T therapy in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania.
While the concept of CAR-T immunotherapy is compelling and makes perfect sense on a theoretical level, manufacturing the cells involved in the therapy is exceedingly complex.
This is one reason that Washington-based Juno has decided to lease its own space. This field is becoming increasingly crowded, and other players in CAR-T therapies include Kite Pharma, Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer.