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Celgene closer to acquiring Juno Therapeutics following US antitrust clearance

Summit, N.J.-based Celgene Corp. secured U.S. antitrust clearance for its $9 billion acquisition of biotech company Juno Therapeutics Inc.

The waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act related to Celgene's tender offer to acquire all shares of Juno expired Feb. 20, signifying antitrust clearance.

The deal still needs to clear other conditions before it can close but remains on track to be completed this quarter.

Seattle-based Juno Therapeutics is developing cancer immunotherapies based on chimeric antigen receptor T-cell, or CAR-T, to genetically engineer T cells in the human body to recognize and kill cancer cells.

The deal will give Celgene access to Juno's cancer therapies, including the JCAR017 CAR-T therapy, which is expected to receive U.S. regulatory approval in 2019 and earn $3 billion in global peak sales as a treatment for blood cancer.