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Richard Morgan, Ph.D. Joins bluebird bio as Vice President of Immunotherapy

Established Thought Leader in the CAR-T Field

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 1, 2013-- bluebird bio, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLUE), a clinical-stage company committed to developing potentially transformative gene therapies for severe genetic and orphan diseases, today announced that Dr. Rick Morgan is joining the company as vice president of Immunotherapy.

Dr. Morgan joins the company from National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health where he was a Staff Scientist, working on genetically modified T-lymphocytes. He is also an associate investigator on all NCI Surgery Branch Clinical Gene Therapy Protocols. Previously Dr. Morgan was Interim Chief at the Clinical Gene Therapy Branch of the National Human Genome Research Institute.

“We are excited that Richard is joining bluebird bio,” stated Mitchell Finer, PhD, bluebird bio’s Chief Scientific Officer. “This is an exciting time for the company as we expand our immunotherapy program. Richard has established himself as a leader in immunotherapy and gene therapy and will be key to advancing our CAR-T efforts and more broadly our T-cell platform.”

Dr. Morgan was a member of the team that preformed the world’s first human gene therapy experiments in 1990 and in 2006 he was the first to report that genetically engineered T cells can cause cancer regression in humans. In his 30 years career, Dr. Morgan has received multiple awards, most recently the Technology Transfer Award from the National Cancer Institute in 2012 and the NCI Director’s Intramural Innovation Award in 2010. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The Johns Hopkins Medical and Surgical Association, American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy and Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer. Dr. Morgan is an author of more than 190 scientific publications including papers with Nobel laureates EJ Corey, Harold Varmus, and Andrew Fire. Dr. Morgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry from Brandeis University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Genetics from The Johns Hopkins University.

“This is a revolutionary time in the fields of immunotherapy and gene therapy,” stated Dr. Morgan. “bluebird bio has established a leading group of researchers in the field of CAR-T, a novel approach to treating cancers and potentially, a wide range of immune mediated diseases. I look forward to working with the team to advance these treatments towards the clinic.”

About bluebird bio, Inc.

bluebird bio is a clinical-stage company committed to developing potentially transformative gene therapies for severe genetic and orphan diseases. bluebird bio has two clinical-stage programs in development. The most advanced product candidate, Lenti-D, recently initiated a phase 2/3 study for the treatment of childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (CCALD), a rare, hereditary neurological disorder affecting young boys. The next most advanced product candidate, LentiGlobin, is currently in a phase 1/2 study in France for the treatment of beta-thalassemia major and severe sickle cell disease. A second phase 1/2 study with LentiGlobin in the United States has been initiated for the treatment of beta-thalassemia major.

bluebird bio also has an early-stage chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cell (CAR-T) program for oncology in partnership with Celgene Corporation.

bluebird bio has operations in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Paris, France. For more information, please visit www.bluebirdbio.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the advancement of our clinical trials. Any forward-looking statements in this press release are based on management's current expectations of future events and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those set forth in or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risk of cessation or delay of any of the ongoing or planned clinical trials and/or our development of our product candidates, the risk that the results of previously conducted studies involving similar product candidates will not be repeated or observed in ongoing or future studies involving current product candidates, the risk that our collaboration with Celgene will not continue or will not be successful, and the risk that any one or more of our product candidates will not be successfully developed and commercialized. For a discussion of other risks and uncertainties, and other important factors, any of which could cause our actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see the section entitled "Risk Factors" in our quarterly report on Form 10-Q, as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties, and other important factors in our subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and bluebird bio undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.

Source: bluebird bio, Inc.

Investor Relations:
bluebird bio, Inc.
Richard E. T. Smith, Ph.D., 617-588-3321
or
Media:
Pure Communications, Inc.
Dan Budwick, 973-271-6085

Media Contacts

Stephanie Fagan

Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications

(201) 572-9581

sfagan@bluebirdbio.com

 

Catherine Falcetti

Senior Director, Corporate Communications

(339) 499-9436

cfalcetti@bluebirdbio.com

 

Investor Contact

Elizabeth Pingpank

Associate Director, Corporate Communications

(617) 914-8736

EPingpank@bluebirdbio.com