Juno Therapeutics is abandoning a cancer therapy that once looked like a revolutionary advance, reacting to a rash of patient deaths that made the customized treatment too risky to push forward.

The company’s decision changes the landscape in a blockbuster race to commercialize the first CAR-T technology, a promising new approach to cancer in which patients’ own immune cells are rewired to attack tumors. Juno, once a leader in the field, is now more than a year behind rivals Kite Pharma and Novartis (NVS).

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