Juno Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:JUNO) has disclosed that new trial results for a cancer treatment raising hopes that the drugmaker could leapfrog rivals in the cancer immunotherapy sector. According to the latest data from the trial of the treatment known as JCAR017, there is evidence that the therapy is more effective than what has been developed by rivals such as Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:KITE) and Novartis AG (ADR)(NYSE:NVS). The two recently got the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for their CAR-T therapies.
“There’s been this odd belief that all CAR-Ts are the same. But not all CAR-Ts are the same. Our data are supporting that and I think people are starting to get that,” said Juno Therapeutics’ Research and Development president, Dr. Sunil Agarwal.
Better safety and efficacy
According to Agarwal though the pharmaceutical firm may have failed in reaching the market first, it has a better product which has demonstrated better tolerability and efficacy.
Trial data showed that the patients who got a higher dose of the treatment ended up with an 80% response rate after a period of three months. After that three-month period, almost 75% of the patients were cancer-free. This was higher than what the competing treatments achieved.
With regards to safety, the higher dose of the treatment developed by Juno Therapeutics demonstrated no rise in the side effects associated with CAR-Ts as they were lower than the competing treatments offered by Novartis and Kite.
If the pivotal trial results of the JCAR017 turn out positive, Juno Therapeutics intends to apply for the approval of the Food and Drug Administration next year. This means that the drug could get to the market in late 2018 or early 2019. Executives of the pharmaceutical company are expected to offer more details on the trial results next month when they attend a blood cancer conference.
The announcement of the trial results come at a time when Juno reported strong Q3 earnings earlier this week. Revenue more than doubled to reach a figure of $44.8 million and this raised the company’s cash reserves to over $1 billion.
On Thursday shares of Juno Therapeutics Inc jumped by 24.01% to close the day at $59.91.