bluebird bio, Inc.: Initiation of Research Coverage

Monday, March 5, 2018

William Blair & Company initiated research coverage of bluebird bio, Inc. (BLUE $203.15), a clinical-stage biotechnology company committed to developing potentially transformative gene therapies for severe genetic diseases and cancer.

Analyst Raj Prasad said, “Bluebird bio completed its IPO in 2013 with human proof-of-concept data for two lentiviral gene therapy candidates, Lenti-D in cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy and LentiGlobin in β-thalassemia and severe sickle cell disease. In addition, in March 2013, bluebird bio and Celgene entered a global strategic collaboration to discover, develop, and commercialize novel, disease-altering gene therapies in oncology. The first program in this partnership was bb2121 to treat late-stage relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. When examining the company’s growth, we note the impressive progression of its pipeline in CAR-T (chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy), LentiGlobin, and Lenti-D and believe that future growth will need to come from maintaining its innovative approach to product development to its next programs to come to the clinic, while executing on the commercial launches of its potentially approved products.”

Prasad added, “We note that the company has several clinical catalysts in 2018 expected at the European Hematology Association annual meeting (Northstar-2 data in non-β0/β0 genotype patients), 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (bb2121 Phase I multiple myeloma update), and 2018 American Society of Hematology (Northstar-3 data in β0/β0 genotype patients, HGB-206 in severe sickle cell disease, and bb21217 Phase I multiple myeloma data) that could enhance the company’s status as a leading innovator in cell and gene therapies.”

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Outperform (Buy): 65%
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Market Perform (Hold): 7%
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