Celgene agreed to buy Juno Therapeutics of Seattle for about $9 billion, one of its largest deals ever, in a bid to expand in the increasingly competitive landscape of cutting-edge cancer treatments.

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Celgene agreed to buy Juno Therapeutics of Seattle for about $9 billion, one of its largest deals ever, in a bid to expand in the increasingly competitive landscape of cutting-edge cancer treatments.

With Juno, Celgene will gain research into a novel class of therapies known as CAR-T that use the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. The Summit, New Jersey-based company will pay $87 a share in cash, according to a statement Monday. That’s 91 percent above Juno’s closing price Jan. 16, the last trading day before The Wall Street Journal reported the companies were in talks.

Juno’s Seattle offices will remain at its new South Lake Union headquarters and in its Bothell development plant, where it has a combined 650 employees. The company, whose technology was spun off from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has 736 employees in all.

A company spokesman said Juno’s hiring plans remain unchanged, and the company expects the number of employees in Seattle will “grow significantly.”

The company did not comment specifically on whether any layoffs would come as a result of the acquisition.

Before the takeover, Celgene and Juno already had ties. The two firms first struck a partnership in 2015 to research cancer treatments, and Celgene was Juno’s largest shareholder, with a stake of about 10 percent.

CAR-Ts are bespoke treatments that re-engineer the body’s own immune-system cells to make them attack cancers, and, so far, they have shown the biggest promise in blood cancers, a disease area in which Celgene specializes.

The Juno deal gives Celgene an entry in a breakthrough field. The first CAR-T to win approval from U.S. regulators was a Novartis treatment, last August, followed in October by Yescarta, a product Gilead Sciences had just bought as part of its $12 billion acquisition of Kite Pharma.

Juno is among the furthest along in the development of treatments in the CAR-T field, according to Brad Loncar, an investor who founded an exchange-traded fund that tracks such therapies.

“Other than Kite, which is already spoken for, and Novartis, which is obviously a huge pharmaceutical company, there’s really no asset like Juno,” he said in an interview on Jan. 17. “This is going to be a trend that could majorly disrupt cancer treatment over a decade and this is just the very beginning of that.”

Celgene is doubling down on cancer drugs after suffering a major setback last year that sent its market value tumbling. The company’s top-selling blood-cancer drug, Revlimid, is expected to face competition in about four years, and the failure of a high-profile experimental candidate for Crohn’s disease in a late-stage trial in October heightened the pressure to find new drivers for long-term growth.

The value of the deal is net of cash and marketable securities held by Juno, and of Juno shares already owned by Celgene. The transaction was approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

The purchase of Juno, shortly after Celgene agreed to buy Impact Biomedicines for at least $1.1 billion, is part of Celgene’s plan to help offset lost revenue from Revlimid once copycat drugs are on the market.

Juno stock surged $18.19, or 26.8 prcent, to $86 Monday. Celgene’s stock edged up 26 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $102.91.