News and Comments

Welcoming Jounce Therapeutics (JNCE) as a Public Company

Prohost Biotech - Friday, January 27, 2017

Today, Jounce Therapeutics has begun trading on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol (JNCE).  The Company, which focuses on the discovery and development of novel cancer immunotherapies and predictive biomarkers, announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 6,365,000 shares of common stock at a public offering price of $16.00 per share for aggregate gross proceeds of $101,840,000. In addition, Jounce granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 954,750 additional shares of its common stock at the initial public offering price. The shares are scheduled to begin trading on The NASDAQ Global Select Market on January 27, 2017 under the ticker symbol “JNCE.”

J.P. Morgan and Cowen and Company are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering. Wells Fargo Securities is acting as lead manager and Baird is acting as a co-manager for the offering.

A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with and was declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 26, 2017. The offering will be made only by means of a prospectus. A copy of the final prospectus relating to the offering will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and may be obtained, when available, from J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, c/o Broadridge Financial Solutions, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, NY 11717, or by telephone at (866) 803-9204, or Cowen and Company, LLC, c/o Broadridge Financial Services, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, NY, 11717, Attn: Prospectus Department, telephone: (631) 274-2806.  

The firm’s press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

JOUNCE THERAPEUTICS (JNCE)

Indeed, Jounce Therapeutics, which is developing T cell cancer immuno therapies with Celgene, raised $102 million by offering 6.4 million shares at $16, which beats previously anticipated price range of $13 to $15.  

It is said that the Joune-Celgene partners on T Cell cancer Immunotherapy will use the cash to advance a solid tumor program and complementary anti-PD-1 antibody down the pipeline. An important priority is to use the cash in advancing the lead product candidate JTX-2011.

JTX-2011 is a monoclonal antibody designed to trigger an immune response by activating a protein found on the surface of some T cells. Jounce thinks JTX-2011 ramps up the response of T effector cells while damping down the activity of T regulatory cells, resulting in it both pressing the accelerator and releasing the brakes on the immune system.

Prohost Past Comments On Jounce

In the Prohost Biotech Letter Issue #393 posted on the Prohost Website in March 7, 2016, we wrote “Jounce’s lead drug product candidate, JTX-2011, is interesting. The drug is a monoclonal antibody that binds to and activates the Inducible T cell CO-Stimulator (ICOS), which is a protein on the surface of certain T cells that might stimulate the immune response against cancer. JTX-2011 is indicated for solid tumors as a single agent and in combination with other therapies. The firm’s founders have demonstrated that elevated expression of ICOS correlated with positive outcomes. They also proved that providing an agonist signal through ICOS leads to anti-tumor activity in vivo.”

On Tuesday January 5, 2017, under Today’s Highlights, Prohost presented Jounce as Follows:  

JOUNCE THERAPEUTICS

A New IPO.

Jounce Therapeutics filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering (IPO) that would raise $75 million. It expects to list on the Nasdaq with the symbol JNCE.   

P.S. Yesterday, January 26, 2017, Jounce raised $104 million, not Just $75 Million.  

History and accomplishments

Established by world leaders in tumor immunology, cancer biology and clinical and translational medicine, Jounce Therapeutics was founded in 2013 as an oncology company that focuses on immunotherapy for cancer. The firm’s founders and most executives and directors are top notch highly regarded scientists and medical professionals. At its launch, Jounce was capable of raising around $103 million in two rounds of investments from nine investors. In addition to the Third Rock Ventures, which are the founding investors, series B investors are many and included Casdin Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, Foresite Capital, Nextech Invest, Omega Funds, Pharm standard, Redmile Group, and Wellington Management.

Jounce Therapeutics was capable of discovering and developing novel cancer immunotherapies with significantly long-lasting responses by Integrating translational science insights, including identification of related biomarkers designed to match the right immunotherapy to the right patients.

The firm’s pipeline has several oncology immunotherapy products in early- and mid-phase trials.

Jounce Products

JTX-2011: This product is a monoclonal antibody that binds to, and activates the inducible T-cell CO-Stimulator (ICOS) -- a checkpoint protein found on the surface of specific T-cells. It is the first clinical program to emerge from Jounce’s Translational Science Platform. Targeting the ICOS receptor has shown to shift the balance of the cancer microenvironment from immunosuppressive towards anti-tumor activity. A study underway aims at gaining insight on how the unique mechanism of JTX-2011 may benefit patients that have not had success with current standard of care therapies.”

An Important Agreement with Celgene

Attracted by what it observed of the effect of JTX-2011, in July, Celgene (CELG) signed a licensing and development deal with Jounce upon which it gets an option on Jounce’s product candidate, JTX-2011. Moreover, the agreement included up to four early-stage programs that Celgene will select from a defined pool of B-cell, T-regulatory cell and tumor-associated macrophage targets. There was also an option to share a checkpoint immune-oncology program.  

Celgene paid $225 million upfront and a $36 million equity investment. The deal might end up worth over $2 billion to Jounce.

In September 2016, Jounce announced the enrollment of the first patients in ICONIC, its Phase 1/2 clinical trial of JTX-2011 in patients with advanced solid tumors. ICONIC stands for ICOS AgONist Antibody for Immunotherapy in Cancer Patients. It will assess the safety and tolerability of the drug, followed by preliminary efficacy as both a monotherapy and in combination with OPDIVO, a PD-1 inhibitor.

Robert Hershberg, Celgene’s chief scientific officer praised Jounce’s development of novel cancer therapies matched to patient populations that would most likely to respond. He expected the collaboration to enable both companies to leverage broad capabilities in immuno-oncology in order to produce new generation of immunotherapy product candidates for cancer patients.  

In addition to JTX-2011, the firm’s has four other products in early studies.    

Prohost Observations

We like what we see about this firm that managed to attract Celgene to partner with it on two drugs one of them is JTX-2011.  We believe that used as monotherapy and as combination therapy with checkpoint inhibitors will, indeed, contribute to improving the clinical outcome of immunotherapy for cancer, including solid tumors.

____________

Today, we Add

We like this firm and intend to add it to our picks for moderate investment that would increase after the safety results of JTX-2011 will be soon published as the firm had promised.   

We also inform that we are working diligently on bringing to the subscribers the comprehensive enlarged issue of Prohost Letter #404 Part 2. The big changes and challenges occurring currently in the U.S. had to be considered in assessing the whole biotech sector. We can insinuate  that our optimistic expectations are on the rise. 

Stay Tuned.

Prohost Forward-Looking Material presented here is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this article should be taken as a solicitation to purchase or sell securities. Before buying or selling any stock you should do your own research and reach your own conclusion. Further, these are our 'opinions' and we may be wrong. We may have positions in securities mentioned in this article. You should take this into consideration before acting on any advice given in this article. If this makes you uncomfortable, then do not listen to our thoughts and opinions. The contents of this article do not take into consideration your individual investment objectives so consult with your own financial adviser before making an investment decision. Investing includes certain risks including loss of principal.

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