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junotherapeuticsJuno Therapeutics, a Seattle-based cancer research firm backed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Arch Venture Partners and others, reported a loss of $66 million on $12 million in revenue during the second quarter, beating analyst expectations.

Over the past three months, the company made headway with its experimental cancer treatments and announced a $1 billion partnership with New Jersey-based biotech giant Celgene. The company also announced that Thomas O. Daniel, president of Celgene Research and Early Development, has been appointed to the Juno board.

 

Losses — not uncommon at young biotech companies such as Juno — were attributed to higher costs associated with the start of clinical testing.

Juno is developing technologies that takes a cancer patient’s T-cells, a key part of the immune system, and reprograms them using genetic engineering to fight that person’s cancer. The approach promises an alternative to radiation and chemotherapy for cancer patients.

Juno CEO Hans Bishop
Juno CEO Hans Bishop

“I am pleased by the progress we have made over the last quarter,” said Juno CEO Hans Bishop in a statement. “The FDA clearance of the [investigational new drug] for JCAR015 was also an important milestone, and we are now well placed to start our first pivotal clinical trial.”

Juno finished the quarter ended June 30 with cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $313.4 million, down from $474 million at the end of 2014. Pro forma cash stood at $1.31 billion as of July 31, in part tied to the Celgene partnership.

The company’s results beat analysts expectations. Analysts predicted losses of around 51 cents per share, but actual losses came in at just 35 cents per share.

The company’s stock price has bounced up and down since its December IPO, trading between $34 and $70 per share. Juno stock was down 1.33 percent at the end of trading today, with little change in late trading after the earnings release. It is now trading at $42.38, with a total market value of $3.9 billion.

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