Juno Therapeutics is a local start-up that has been making waves over the past few months for their novel treatment of an extremely aggressive cancer, lymphoblastic leukemia. A patient’s t-cells are extracted, genetically modified and then infused back in to the patient. In a recent 16-patient trial, 88% of the patients achieved complete remission.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) accounts for 70% of all childhood leukemia cases, which makes it the most prevalent childhood cancer. It has a 80-90% rate of remission, however approximately 50% of those patients relapse. Proving the efficacy of Juno’s treatment in ALL patients seems to be just the first step for this start-up. Juno has an extremely talented team of founders that are the leading experts in cancer research and bring together an impressive collaboration of multiple (and sometimes competing) treatment and research institutions.