Juno Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:JUNO), a biopharmaceutical company focused on re-engaging the body’s immune system to revolutionize the treatment of cancer, announced today that it has entered into an exclusive license agreement with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) and Eureka Therapeutics, Inc. for a novel, fully-human binding domain targeting B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA), along with binding domains against two additional undisclosed multiple myeloma targets to be used for the potential development and commercialization of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) cell therapies for patients with multiple myeloma. The binding domains were developed under a collaboration agreement between Eureka Therapeutics and MSK. The parties expect the BCMA CAR to enter human testing as early as 1H2017.

“We are optimistic that CAR T therapy can be an important component in treating patients with multiple myeloma, and we are pleased to bring additional fully-human binding domains against BCMA and other targets into our program,” said Hy Levitsky, M.D., Juno’s Chief Scientific Officer. “We believe that a multi-pronged approach may be necessary to treat this disease, and we will pursue more than one target against myeloma. The MSK and Eureka constructs are promising additions to our portfolio that will accelerate our efforts and provide additional opportunities to combat this disease.”

“We are pleased to work with Juno Therapeutics on developing CAR T therapies against multiple myeloma,” said Dr. Cheng Liu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Eureka Therapeutics. “Multiple myeloma is a devastating disease. For the past three years, we have been working with MSK to develop CAR T therapies against multiple myeloma, and we are delighted that Juno is able to use their broad expertise to bring these therapies to patients faster.”

MSK and Eureka Therapeutics are eligible to receive an undisclosed upfront payment, additional payments upon the achievement of undisclosed clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestones, and royalties on net sales. (Original Source)

Shares of Juno Therapeutics are up nearly 1% to $31.15 in after-hours Thursday. JUNO has a 1-year high of $57.82 and a 1-year low of $22.37. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $34.70 and its 200-day moving average is $37.15.

On the ratings front, JUNO has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on July 18, Leerink Swann analyst Michael Schmidt reiterated a Buy rating on JUNO, with a price target of $60, which represents a potential upside of 94.0% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on the same day, Morgan Stanley’s Matthew Harrison reiterated a Hold rating on the stock .

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Michael Schmidt and Matthew Harrison have a total average return of 13.6% and 3.9% respectively. Schmidt has a success rate of 66.4% and is ranked #135 out of 4085 analysts, while Harrison has a success rate of 56.4% and is ranked #1000.

Overall, 3 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 5 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $55.50 which is 79.5% above where the stock opened today.

Juno Therapeutics, Inc. operates as a biopharmaceutical company, which focuses on re-engaging the body’s immune system to revolutionize the treatment of cancer. It platforms include chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) and T-cell receptors (TCRs). The CAR technology directs T-cells to recognize cancer cells based on expression of specific cell surface proteins. The TCR technology provides the T-cells with a specific T-cell receptor that recognizes protein fragments derived from either intracellular or extracellular proteins.