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Wall Street Very Excited About Seattle Biotech Company Juno's IPO

Creative Commons

The Northwest business that has investors buzzing right now is the Seattle biotech companyJuno Therapeutics. It’s going public Friday morning and hopes the IPO will raise more than $200 million. It will trade on the Nasdaq under JUNO.

Juno Therapeutics specializes in immunotherapies to treat leukemia and lymphoma. This involves taking a person’s T-cells, the ones that fight infections in our bodies, and reengineering them to become stronger.

These boosted T-cells are injected back into the body where ideally they seek and destroy cancer. In one of Juno’s trials, 24 out of 27 patients with lymphoblastic leukemia went into complete remission.  

Biotech industry observers say the excitement investors have for Juno Therapeutics is a sign that the Seattle area is becoming an important place in the world of oncology.

“It helps really plant the flag of this region being the epicenter for immunotherapy around the world and that’s only going to attract other investigators, other capital, other companies, other resources, which is going to help continue to grow the industry,” said Chris Rivera, president of the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association based in Seattle.

If the company continues with its success, it could be a huge financial boost to the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center in Seattle. The Hutch holds more than 4 percent of Juno Therapeutic’s shares. 

Jennifer Wing is a former KNKX reporter and producer who worked on the show Sound Effect and Transmission podcast.