Juno Therapeutics (JUNO) Shows Positive Early Data In Leukemia Patients


Juno Therapeutics (NASDAQ:JUNO)

Juno Therapeutics posted positive preliminary results in patients with ibrutinib-refractory Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia — CLL. These results were presented at a medical conference at the 58th American Society of Hematology. These findings are positive in nature, but problems of toxicity still remain.

While obtaining positive results in Leukemia patients, there were a lot of serious grade 3 to grade 5 serious adverse events. That means when the stock opens on Monday for trading any gains will be capped. In addition, the JUNO stock could possibly trade lower. That is because a lot of toxicity concerns have plagued the CAR-T technology.

After all, another CAR-T program from JUNO has been halted two times. One by the FDA, and the most recent one happened by the company itself. One thing to note is that it is for another drug known as JCAR017. Still, this trial in Leukemia patients receiving JCAR014 saw a lot of safety concerns as well.

JUNO CAR-T Results

The drug used in the trial is known as JCAR014, and is a CAR-T cell therapy drug. The trial in question was treating patients with CLL. The difference is that the trial recruited patients who were refractory to ibrutinib. What this means is that patients first took the drug ibrutinib, which is marketed by Johnson & Johnson before entering the trial.

With patients failing to respond to ibrutinib therapy, they had no other options. Of course, JCAR014 is that alternative option which showed some good response rates in this early stage study. The trial recruited a total of 24 patients in the study that were given JCAR014 therapy.

Out of the 17 evaluable patients, 15 of them or 88% experienced a complete bone marrow response to the treatment. Even better at least 7 of the 14 patients or 50% had no detectable disease whatsoever. These results are highly encouraging. This is especially true considering that patients had undergone fiver other therapies, including ibrutinib, before taking Juno’s drug.

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