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Juno's response to the Cellectis ASH abstract

Tuesday, 10-November-2015

The first question during Q&A on Juno Therapeutics' Q3 conference call tonight was in regards to what they thought about the Cellectis' ASH abstract.  Below is a transcript of the response to the question by Juno's Chief Scientific Officer, Hyam Levitsky, M.D..


"I’d like to make some comments about the study you alluded to.  It was certainly encouraging to learn that the patient achieved a complete remission, and we are certainly looking forward to hearing more of the details at ASH.  But from the information that is in the abstract it is very difficult to determine what the contribution of the CAR-T cells was to the response relative to the intensive therapy the patient received.  And because the patient went on to get a second transplant after CAR-T infusion, two of the key concerns about the allogeneic approach really can’t be assessed.  That is host rejection of the CAR-T cells or potentially graft-versus-host disease mediated by the cells.  So in answer to your question overall it really doesn’t change our view on off-the-shelf approaches.  We certainly appreciate the potential benefits but we are focused on autologous approaches at this time as they hold the greatest promise for achieving durable persistence that we believe will be important to optimize the clinical benefit particularly in lymphoma and solid tumors.  So what is clear to us, however, is that the allogeneic CAR-T approach as it currently is configured is entirely dependent on achieving significant levels of the immunosuppression…a state that may not be readily applicable to other types of cancers or even some patients with leukemia."


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Brad Loncar

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