Juno Therapeutics acquires German biotech Stage Cell Therapeutics for US$81m

Gaining access to transformative cell selection and activation capabilities

Juno Therapeutics, a US biopharmaceutical company focused on re-engaging the body's immune system to treat cancer, has purchased Stage Cell Therapeutics, a privately held biotechnology company based in Munich and Göttingen, Germany, for US$81m.

Juno paid €52.5m (US$59m) in cash and 486,279 shares of Juno stock, worth approximately $22m.

The Seattle, US-based biotechnology company already owned 5% of Stage Cell, which employs 23 scientists, engineers and other personnel.

The acquired company will operate as a wholly owned German subsidiary under the name Juno Therapeutics GmbH.

The deal provides Juno with access to transformative cell selection and activation capabilities

Stage Cell will also receive payments of up to €135m based on the achievement of development and commercialisation milestones related to novel reagents (€40m), advanced automation technology (€65m), and the company's existing clinical pipeline (€30m).

The deal provides Juno with access to transformative cell selection and activation capabilities, next-generation manufacturing automation technologies, enhanced control of its supply chain, and lower expected long-term cost of goods.

Hans Bishop, CEO of Juno Therapeutics, said: 'This important acquisition is driven by our strategy to have best-in-class process development and manufacturing capabilities in support of our goal of developing next-generation CAR and TCR products.'

Since its founding in 2005, Stage has been translating innovative and unique science and technology into cell therapeutics. The company´s next-generation cell isolation and expansion technology platforms are based on fully reversible reagents that enable the advanced isolation and expansion of T cells during the manufacturing process.

Juno will invest in commercially scaling these and other technologies for incorporation into next-generation CAR and TCR product candidates.

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