Juno Therapeutics, Thermo Fisher ink partnership deal to manufacture CAR-T therapies

Juno Therapeutics, Thermo Fisher ink partnership deal to manufacture CAR-T therapies.

Juno Therapeutics, a biopharma focused on developing cellular immunotherapies to treat cancer, said it inked a deal to use Thermo Fisher Scientific’s activation reagents in manufacturing its CAR-T therapies.

The deal, which is a seven-year nonexclusive licensing and supply agreement, gives Juno the rights to use Thermo Fisher’s CTS Dynabeads magnetic beads for clinical and commercial manufacturing of Juno’s CAR-T therapies. The beads activate and expand T cells that have been genetically engineered to recognize and fight cancer cells in each individual patient. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. 

CAR-T drugs are made of a patient's own cells that are removed from the body, re-engineered and injected back into the patient to recognize and destroy cancers.

"Cell Therapy Systems' products help minimize the risk of contamination and variability in clinical research and drug commercialization,” Mark Stevenson, Thermo Fisher’s COO, said in a statement. “These products are supported by rigorous regulatory review, making them a proven choice as more companies invest in moving from bench to bedside."

On Tuesday, the FDA signed off on Spark Therapeutics’ Luxturna, one of the world’s first gene therapies to treat an inherited form of vision loss that can result in blindness.

Although the approval of Luxturna was a first for the FDA, the agency and the medical community already entered a new age for cancer treatment this year when Novartis' Kymriah and Gilead's Yescarta, two CAR-T treatments for rare cancers, won their marketing nods.