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Jounce Therapeutics Shares Surge After-hours On Revised Celgene Collaboration

Jounce Therapeutics Inc. (JNCE) said that Celgene has licensed worldwide rights to JTX-8064, a highly-selective, potential first-in-class antibody that targets the LILRB2 receptor on macrophages.

JNCE closed Tuesday's regular trading at $4.09, down $0.08 or 1.92 percent. But, in the after-hours trading, the stock up $1.33 or 32.52 percent.

In an update on its strategic collaboration with Celgene, Jounce said it retains full worldwide rights to its pipeline beyond JTX-8064, including vopratelimab, JTX-4014 and all discovery programs, as Jounce and Celgene have also entered into a mutual agreement to terminate their original strategic collaboration agreement.

As per the terms of the new license agreement for JTX-8064, Jounce receives a $50.0 million non-refundable license fee and is eligible to receive from Celgene up to $480 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments, as well as royalties on potential worldwide sales. Celgene will be responsible for all development and commercialization of JTX-8064.

As a result of the changes to the Celgene strategic collaboration, Jounce now expects to record about $50.0 million in cash revenue in 2019 related to the license of JTX-8064 and approximately $98.0 million in non-cash revenue in 2019 representing the remaining recognition of the upfront payment received in July 2016.

Jounce said it is currently enrolling patients in the Phase 2 EMERGE clinical trial of vopratelimab in combination with ipilimumab in patients with non-small cell lung cancer or urothelial cancer who have progressed on or after PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor therapies. Jounce expects to report preliminary efficacy data and biomarker relationships to clinical outcomes from EMERGE in 2020.

Jounce is also currently conducting a Phase 1 clinical trial of JTX-4014, its PD-1 inhibitor. This Phase 1 clinical trial is nearing completion, and Jounce remains on track to identify the recommended Phase 2 dose of JTX-4014 in 2019.

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