Juno loss widens in Q2 as R&D costs skyrocket
- Hotly watched cancer T-cell tech firm Juno Therapeutics reported Q2 earnings wherein its loss widened to $66 million, compared to $22.8 million in Q2 2014.
- The reason? The company is aggressively ramping up operations and bolstering its R&D game. Research expenditures skyrocketed to more than $60 million in Q2 (compared to $6.5 million last year) and acquisition-related spending hit $77 million.
- Juno had a massive (and at the time, record-setting for a biotech with no approved drugs) IPO last December.
Juno is still very much in the development stage. The biotech doesn't have any drugs on the market and (unsurprisingly) has yet to post a profit.
But there's a number of factors that might bolster its long-term outlook. For instance, the company has been cleared to launch mid-stage trials of an investigational acute lymphoblastic leukemia medication that it hopes could be a game-changer.
And then there's the general hype around CAR-T cancer companies and the frenzied biotech M&A environment, which facilitated a staggering $1 billion, 10-year collaboration deal with Celgene at the end of June that saw the latter firm pay a 102% premium for 9.1 million Juno shares.
Clearly, a lot of the big players are putting a lot of faith in Juno's investigational therapies. But the stock is down modestly after the release of the greater-than-expected Q2 losses.