Rocket (leukemia) trial halted again, Juno’s shares fall 30%

Juno announced it halted the Phase II Rocket trial for JCAR015, a CAR-T therapy targeting acute lymphoblastic leukemia, following the death of two patients due to brain tissue swelling. This is the second time Juno has suspended the Rocket study, indeed the first halt was in July, after three young patients died for the same reason. Juno stated in July the deaths were probably caused by chemotherapy (fludarabine), yet the patients who died yesterday had not been given the chemotherapy. Shares in Juno fell 30% (Nasdaq) soon after the announcement, wiping approximately $1bn from the company’s market capitalization. (Source FT)