Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Rewriting Life

And Just Like That, Juno Therapeutics Is Back in Business

Despite three deaths, a trial for a powerful cancer treatment has been cleared to resume.

In a rapid turnaround, biotech firm Juno Therapeutics has been given the green light to resume testing a promising cancer therapy that involves genetically engineering patients’ immune systems.

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered Juno to halt its trial of the treatment after three patients died. The company said the deaths were not the result of the immune cells, which are modified outside the body before being injected back into a patient, but of a toxic reaction to a preconditioning drug used as part of the treatment. That compound, fludarabine, has been removed from the protocol.

Juno’s stock rebounded on the news, after it had plunged 30 percent last week when the trial was stopped. Whether the company will be able to beat competitors Kite Pharma and Novartis to market remains to be seen. Juno had been planning on seeking FDA approval in 2017.

Initial trials for Juno’s therapy, known as CAR-T, have produced remarkable results in patients with recurrent acute lymphoblastic leukemia—about eight in 10 patients saw their tumors disappear. But the treatment is risky, so the tests have been limited to patients facing long odds of survival.

(Read more: Endpoints, “Unexpected Deaths Put Promising Immunotherapy on Hold,” “Gene Therapy’s First Out-and-Out Cure Is Here,” “Biotech’s Coming Cancer Cure”)

The race is on to define the new blockchain era. Get a leg up at Business of Blockchain 2019.

Register now
More from Rewriting Life

Reprogramming our bodies to make us healthier.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Print + All Access Digital.
  • Print + All Access Digital {! insider.prices.print_digital !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    The best of MIT Technology Review in print and online, plus unlimited access to our online archive, an ad-free web experience, discounts to MIT Technology Review events, and The Download delivered to your email in-box each weekday.

    See details+

    12-month subscription

    Unlimited access to all our daily online news and feature stories

    6 bi-monthly issues of print + digital magazine

    10% discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Access to entire PDF magazine archive dating back to 1899

    Ad-free website experience

    The Download: newsletter delivered daily

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.