Bluebird Bio to split business

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

January 11, 2021 -- Bluebird Bio announced that it will separate its severe genetic and oncology businesses into two distinct and independent publicly traded companies. Bluebird will retain its focus on severe genetic diseases and a newly formed entity, Oncology Newco, will be launched.

Upon completion of the separation, Nick Leschly, current chief of Bluebird, will lead Oncology Newco as CEO. Additionally, Andrew Obenshain, current president of the severe genetic disease business, will continue his leadership as CEO of Bluebird Bio.

"We are committed to working together through this transformative process to ensure each company is optimized with the right teams in place for progressing these therapies through the regulatory process into commercialization, harnessing the power of the pipeline to continue creation of innovative medicines, establishing and rapidly growing product revenue, and creating value for shareholders," said Daniel Lynch, chair of the board of directors.

The firm stated that the split will allow for tailored investment opportunities for shareholders and increased strategic flexibility among the businesses.

Bluebird will continue to focus on gene therapies for rare diseases. Oncology Newco will focus on commercialization of the investigational B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, idecabtagene vicleucel (idecel), in multiple myeloma. It will also focus on continued development of investigational bb21217 product candidate and other cellular therapies.

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