Celgene is reportedly in talks to buy a $5.5 billion cancer drugmaker

  • Celgene is in talks to acquire Juno Therapeutics,The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
  • If the deal materialises, it’d be the second in 2018 for the biotech giant, which has been under pressure from investors.
  • Juno is known for its experimental treatments that harness the body’s immune system to treat cancer.

Biotech giant Celgene is in talks to buy cancer drugmaker Juno Therapeutics, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Celgene has been under pressure from investors to make some changes after a rocky 2017. Already in 2018, the company acquired Impact Biosciences in a $US7 billion deal, a move that didn’t entirely excite the biotech community.

Juno declined to comment on the report.

Juno is developing a highly personalised cancer treatment called CAR T-cell therapy (CAR is short for chimeric antigen receptor). 2017 was a big year for these treatments, with the Food and Drug Administration approving two, and Gilead Sciences buying CAR-T drugmaker Kite Pharma for $US12 billion.

A deal between Juno and Celgene wouldn’t be entirely out of the blue – the two companies have been partnered since 2015 in a $US1 billion deal that gave Celgene certain rights to commercialize Juno’s treatments.

Juno was up 40% Tuesday evening on the report.

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