Cancer research startup Juno Therapeutics raises $300 million in less than a year
(August 6, 2014) Seattle-based Juno Therapeutics announced it has closed Series B round of funding with $134 million. The new funding came from previous investors including ARCH Venture Partners, Alaska Permanent Fund through Crestline Investors, Bezos Expeditions, the personal investment company of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and Venrock. Also participating in Series B are 10 other mutual funds and healthcare-related funds that wish to remain anonymous.
Juno is a biotechnology company that is developing novel immunotherapies for cancer using two distinct and complementary platforms - chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) and T-cell receptors (TCRs). The CAR technology is designed to target cell surface antigens that are expressed on cancer cells. In addition, the TCR technology can also detect alterations in intracellular proteins present in tumor cells.
The startup a is a joint venture among Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Seattle Children's Research Institute, which finished Series A round with $176 in committed funds in April 2014. With the recent funding, Juno is able to raise more than $300 million since it was launched in December 2013.
CEO Hans Bishop said in a statement, that the funding puts them in a strong position to move forward with the CAR and TCR therapies, and enables them to invest in the continued development of these technologies.