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Juno Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:JUNO) and AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) Pair Up for new Cancer Therapy

Juno Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:JUNO) and AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) are collaborating to test their respective cancer therapies in tandem. The collaboration will combine new-fangled therapies that will use the immune system to combat tumours.

Under the deal, the duo will jointly fund a Phase I study that combines Juno’s CAR-T therapy and antibodies developed by MedImmune, a subsidiary of AstraZeneca. The trail will focus on patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and will start later this year.

Juno’s CAR-T therapy involves extracting patient’s T cells and outfitting them with targeting technology called chimeric antigen receptors (CAR-T) and then infusing them to attack the cancer cells. On the other hand, AstraZeneca’s MEDI4736 is an antibody that blocks an immune checkpoint called PD-L1. PD-L1 stops the body’s natural immune system from detecting cancerous growths.

Both the treatments have shown excellent results in monotherapy studies, and it is believed that a collaboration that administers the therapies in tandem would be a powerful therapy against cancer.

MedImmune oncology chief Ed Bradley has stated that a combination of MEDI4736 and CAR-T cell candidate will add to the program of immuno oncology clinical trials. He also stated that the move by MedImmune adds to its working with industry leading partners to develop immunotherapies to combat cancer.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) and many other pharmaceutical companies have launched dozens of studies matching their PD-L1 or PD-1 targeting therapies with other cancer treatments.

AstraZeneca is the first pharmaceutical company to announce a collaborative trial with CAR-T. Juno has not collaborated with anyone since it went public last year.

The potential of CAR-T as a cancer-fighting therapy is well understood in immune oncology. The discipline itself is getting increasingly dependent on multi-agent combinations. Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) partnered with Kite PharmaInc (NASDAQ:KITE) this year to collaborate on CAR-T.

Published by Brendan Byrne

While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. You may contact Brendan via his email ([email protected]) or his Google+ page (

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