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14 January 2014

Juno extends series A to $145m

Already launching in December with one of the largest series A rounds in history, Juno Therapeutics extends the venture round by a further $25m.

Author: Gregg Bayes-Brown, editor

Juno Therapeutics, an oncology spin-out of three cancer research institutes, has extended its already sizable series A to $145m.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ personal investment company Bezos Expeditions joined the round along with venture firm Venrock. The two join ARCH Venture Partners, a venture firm once part of the University of Chicago, and the Alaska Permanent Fund, a state-managed investment vehicle which draws on Alaskan oil money to create a post-oil nest egg for the state.

Seattle-based Juno is commercialising oncology therapies developed by the St Jude Children’s Research Centre, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre, and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre. It’s primary technology, chimeric antigen receptors (CARs), reprogram the body’s T-Cells, part of the immune system, to be able to identify and target cancerous tumours. The result of which essentially turns the immune system on against cancer, which trials have shown able to completely eradicate cancer previously described as terminal.

Along with the funding, Juno also announced new board of director placements. Marc Terrier-Lavigne, Antony Evnin, and Howard Pien will join the board. Jose Baselga will serve as chariman of Juno’s Clinical Advisory Board.

Hans Bishop, chief executive at Juno, said: “This is an exciting time for Juno. The investments from Bezos Expeditions and Venrock will help accelerate our growth as we work to transform how we treat cancer.

He added: “We are delighted that Marc, Tony, Howard and José have agreed to lend their experience and expertise to Juno. Their leadership in the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors will serve Juno well in the years ahead.”

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