Wednesday turned out to be a nightmare for Juno Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:JUNO) investors, after the drug maker disclosed that it has voluntarily placed on hold its Phase II clinical trial of JCAR015 in adult patients with relapsed or refractory B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, known as the “ROCKET” trial. The clinical hold was initiated after two patients suffered cerebral edema earlier this week. One patient died and as of last night the other is not expected to recover.
Juno shares reacted to the news, falling nearly 30% in pre-market trading Wednesday.
Juno has notified the Food & Drug Administration of the voluntary hold and is working with the agency and the Data and Safety Monitoring Board to determine next steps. The company is assessing data from the cases and the trial and is evaluating its options regarding the JCAR015 program.
Juno’s trials and plans for its other CD19-directed CAR T cell product candidates, including JCAR017, are not affected. (Original Source)
On the ratings front, Juno Therapeutics has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on November 10, Suntrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Peter Lawson reiterated a Buy rating on JUNO, with a price target of $48, which represents a potential upside of 61% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on the same day, FBR’s Edward White reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $61.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Peter Lawson and Edward White have a yearly average return of 11.9% and a loss of 4.2% respectively. Lawson has a success rate of 58% and is ranked #362 out of 4240 analysts, while White has a success rate of 34% and is ranked #3899.
Sentiment on the street is mostly bullish on JUNO stock. Out of 5 analysts who cover the stock, 3 suggest a Buy rating and 2 recommend to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $48.00, which represents a potential upside of 61% from where the stock is currently trading.
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 and T-cell receptors. The chimeric antigen receptors technology directs T-cells to recognize cancer cells based on expression of specific cell surface proteins. The T-cell receptors technology provides the T-cells with a specific T-cell receptor that recognizes protein fragments derived from either intracellular or extracellular proteins.