Celgene, Jounce Therapeutics In Collaboration Worth Up To $2.6 Billion

Jounce Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based immuno-oncology company, has formed a global strategic collaboration with Celgene worth up to $2.6 billion for developing and commercializing immuno-oncology treatments. Under the collaboration, Jounce will receive an upfront payment of $225 million, a $36-million equity investment by Celgene, and up to an additional $2.3 billion in future milestone payments.

The collaboration includes options on Jounce's lead product candidate, JTX-2011, a monoclonal antibody that binds to and activates the T-cell inducible costimulator (ICOS), which is a protein on the surface of certain T cells that is believed to stimulate an immune response against cancer. JTX-2011 is being developed to treat solid tumors as a single agent and in combination with other therapies. It is expected to enter clinical studies in the second half of 2016.

The collaboration also includes up to four early-stage programs to be selected from a defined pool of B-cell, T-regulatory-cell, and tumor-associated macrophage targets and an additional option to equally share a checkpoint immuno-oncology program. Post-option exercise, Jounce will lead global development and US commercialization for JTX-2011 and one additional collaboration program. Celgene has the option to opt-in at defined stages of development across the programs.

Following any opt-in, Celgene and Jounce will share US profits and losses on all programs. The profit split includes:

• 60%:40% US profit share on JTX-2011 in favor of Jounce
• 75%:25% US profit share on the first additional program in favor of Celgene
• 50%:50% US profit share on up to three additional programs

After opt-in, all development costs will be shared commensurate with product rights, and Celgene will also receive exclusive ex-US commercialization rights for each of the programs. Jounce is eligible to receive a royalty on any resulting ex-US sales. Celgene and Jounce will equally share profits globally for the checkpoint program.

Source: Jounce Therapeutics

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