Juno halts midstage drug study over deaths

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Juno Therapeutics plunged more than 25 percent Friday, a day after halting a midstage study on a potential leukemia treatment following two patient deaths. The development-stage biotechnology company is working on JCAR015 as a treatment for a type of leukemia. It is the...

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Juno Therapeutics plunged more than 25 percent Friday, a day after halting a midstage study on a potential leukemia treatment following two patient deaths.

The development-stage biotechnology company is working on JCAR015 as a treatment for a type of leukemia. It is the company's most advanced drug candidate and therefore the most visible indicator of progress for investors.

The Seattle-based company said Thursday that the study has been put on hold after it added the chemotherapy drug fludarabine to the regimen. It has proposed continuing the study without fludarabine.

Midstage studies focus on a potential drug's effectiveness and are a key step in the development and eventual approval process.

Shares of Juno Therapeutics Inc. dropped $10.48, or 25.7 percent, to $30.34 in premarket trading about an hour before the market open.

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