Juno Therapeutics has paid $59 million to acquire Stage Cell Therapeutics, a privately held biotech company based in Germany. Stage Cell, which is privately held, is known for its cell isolation and expansion technology. Juno already held a 5 percent stake in the company.
With the acquisition, Juno will push to commercially scale the new technologies from Stage for incorporation into new products. As a part of the deal, Stage Cell, with its 23 employees, will become a fully owned subsidiary of Juno, and will do business as Juno Therapeutics GmbH. The company also stands to receive success-based payments worth more than $150 million for delivering certain development and commercialization milestones.
“We are very excited to be part of Juno. Combining our capabilities with Juno’s has the potential to accelerate our impact in the battle against cancer,” Dr. Lothar Germeroth, the managing director of what is now Juno Therapeutics GmbH, said in a press release.
In addition to the acquisition news, Juno also reported its first quarter financial results today. The company reported a loss of 30 cents a share, which was 4 cents better than analysts expected. The company’s cash burn rate accelerated to $26.4 million from $13.3 million during the year-ago quarter, driven by expenses related to a variety of activities including hiring personnel, purchasing equipment and costs associated with Juno’s IPO last year.
The news comes a month after Juno secured a $12.3 million settlement in a patent lawsuit against Novartis. It’s good financial news for the company, especially after its massive loss in the fourth quarter of 2014 that was significantly deeper than analysts expected.