Why Juno Therapeutics Dropped by 10% on Tuesday

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What

: According to data provided by
S&P
Capital IQ

, the clinical-stage cancer immunotherapy company
Juno Therapeutics

shed 10% of its value on moderately high volume yesterday.
Juno’s shares are now trading at 52-week lows and are currently
down a staggering 44% since the start of 2016:



JUNO

data by
YCharts

.

So what

: The good news is that this latest downward move wasn’t the
result a specific negative catalyst. In fact, Juno appears to
be caught in the middle of a major revaluation trend among all
clinical-stage biotechs — especially those developing
so-calledchimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells for the
treatment of blood-based malignancies and solid tumors. After
all, Juno’s closest competitor in the CAR T space,
Kite Pharma

 , hasn’t fared much better so far this year:


KITE Chart


KITE

data by
YCharts

.

Why are CAR T developers getting walloped this year?
Although both Juno and Kite reported fairly impressive results
for their lead product candidates at last year’s American
Society of Hematology meeting, several question marks still
surround the safety of this technology in general. Juno, for
instance, reported that a handful of patients being treated
with its experimental therapies JCAR015 and JCAR014 experienced
bouts of cytokine release syndrome
and/or neurotoxicity.

Now what

: The bottom line is that the market now seems convinced that
Juno and Kite will probably run into serious trouble with their
modified T cell platforms because of these outstanding safety
concerns. After all, Juno’s valuation has fallen to a mere 2.1
times its last reported cash position . That’s alarmingly
low for a biotech with multiple therapies in development that
are thought to have blockbuster potential.

Despite Juno’s significant drop this year, investors may
want to remain cautious with this speculative biotech for the
moment, given that there’s no good way of telling if the stock
is finally close to finding a bottom.

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The article
Why Juno Therapeutics Dropped by 10% on
Tuesday

originally appeared on Fool.com.


George Budwell

has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool
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