JUNO: 3 licensing agreements


Juno signed licensing agreements with Eli Lilly, FHCRC, and OncoTracker.

Through its agreement with Eli Lilly and Company, Juno will acquire a license to the GSI known as LY3039478, a product candidate that has been studied in 411 patients and healthy volunteers. Through its agreements with OncoTracker and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Juno will gain exclusive rights to intellectual property within the field of combinations of GSIs and BCMA-directed engineered T cells.

Gamma secretase is an enzyme that cleaves a set of transmembrane proteins, including BCMA. Multiple publications have shown that treatment with GSIs can increase surface expression of BCMA on tumors, particularly multiple myeloma. Increased cell surface BCMA may increase potency of a BCMA-directed CAR T therapy.

“BCMA appears to be an important target for treating patients with multiple myeloma and Juno is dedicated to investigating novel approaches to maximize efficacy for these patients. These licenses open up an important approach to improve the activity and outcomes for CAR T cells targeted at BCMA,” said Sunil Agarwal, M.D., Juno’s President of Research and Development. “We plan to begin clinical trials in 2018 combining a gamma secretase inhibitor with our BCMA CAR T product candidates.”