Juno Therapeutics CEO Pockets $100 Million in IPO; Largest Investor Makes $1 Billion

Juno Therapeutics CEO Pockets $100 Million in IPO; Largest Investor Makes $1 Billion
December 23, 2014
By Mark Terry, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

Seattle-based Juno Therapeutics has been riding a rocket after Friday’s initial public offering. The stock’s opening price Thursday night was $24 per share, which rose a whopping 60 percent at opening on Friday to $38 per share. The company adjusted its set price several times prior to the IPO, first filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission between $15 and $18, then updating to between $21 and $23.

Hans Bishop, Juno’s chief executive officer, has a 3 percent stake in the company, making him the $100 million man. Other stakeholders include Robert Nelson, whose stake rose to $450 million, and Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, whose investment is now worth around $153.6 million.

In addition, two funds, CL Alaskan and JT Line Partners, have a combined 31 percent stake. Their portion of Juno is now worth more than $1 billion.

Juno Therapeutics is a clinical-stage company working on novel cellular immunotherapies based on two separate but complementary platforms—Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs) and T Cell Receptors (TCRs). At its simplest, the technology is used to genetically engineer a patient’s own T cells to recognize and kill cancer cells.

The company has collaborations with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Other high-profile investors include Jeff Bezos, head of Seattle-based Amazon.

In October of this year, Juno Therapeutics ranked as #1 on BioSpace’s NextGen Bio “Class of 2015.” The company has a minimum of three ongoing clinical trials for 4-1BB, CD29 and 4-1BB. The company’s initial Series A investment was $120 million, then completed a secondary Series A round in April with $176 million in fully committed funds. In August Juno closed its Series round with $134 million in new investment.

“This recognition is testament to how hard we are working to bring transformative cancer therapies to market,” said Hans Bishop to BioSpace in October. “Being named the most promising biopharma startup speaks to the milestones we have achieved in less than a year, including two funding rounds and significant progress in clinical development. It has been an exciting year, but we are even more excited about the progress still to come.”

In addition to the $265 million IPO, Juno is recorded as the highest market cap of any biotech company at its debut in at least the last decade. The company is valued at more than $3 billion.

Juno’s stock price as of this writing is $40.34.

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