bluebird bio, a leader in the development of innovative gene therapies
for severe genetic disorders, today announced the successful completion
of a $60 million Series D financing. In this round, new investors
Deerfield Partners, RA Capital, Ramius Capital Group, and two
undisclosed blue chip public investment funds joined existing investors
ARCH Venture Partners, Third Rock Ventures, TVM Capital, and Forbion
Capital Partners. In addition, Shire plc joined the round as a strategic
Howard Furst, M.D., partner at Deerfield Partners, stated, "We believe
bluebird's proprietary approach to gene therapy holds the promise to
meet critically important unmet medical needs. We are pleased to join an
outstanding group of new and existing investors in supporting this
experienced management team to further the clinical development and
commercialization of one-time transformative gene therapies."
Proceeds will be used to advance the company's clinical programs in
severe genetic disorders, including childhood cerebral
adrenoleukodystrophy (CCALD), beta-thalassemia and sickle cell disease.
With the proceeds from this financing and based on promising early
clinical proof of concept results, bluebird bio plans to initiate a
Phase 2/3 clinical study in CCALD in both the United States and Europe
in 2013, as well as a second U.S.-based Phase 1/2 study in
beta-thalassemia in 2013. In addition, the company expects to initiate a
more extensive sickle cell disease development program and invest in
manufacturing, clinical and commercial infrastructure to support the
upcoming clinical trials and pre-commercial launch activities.
"Gene therapy has come a long way over the last several years toward
realizing its potential as a powerful treatment modality," said Dan
Lynch, chairman of the bluebird bio board of directors. "We believe
bluebird bio is at the forefront of major advances in the field and
perhaps most importantly has assembled the most experienced and driven
team in the gene therapy space."
"This is an exciting time for bluebird and the milestones in the field
of gene therapy. The strong support from our existing and new investors
is incredible and will fuel our efforts for some time," said Nick
Leschly, CEO of bluebird bio. "To have a gene therapy product platform
that has the potential to provide a one-time transformative therapy for
patients suffering from terrible, life threatening diseases is simply a
privilege and is at the heart of what motivates and drives the bluebird
team every day."
Source: bluebird bio