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bluebird bio Announces First Patient with Sickle Cell Disease Transplanted with LentiGlobin Gene Therapy

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 14, 2014-- 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 the first subject with severe sickle cell disease has undergone infusion with bluebird bio’s LentiGlobin BB305 drug product in an autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. This patient is enrolled in the HGB-205 Study being conducted in Paris, France. bluebird has also opened a separate US-based trial (HGB-206) in the United States for the treatment of up to 8 severe sickle cell disease patients with the company’s LentiGlobin BB305 drug product.

“We are treating a sickle cell patient for the first time with gene therapy,” stated Marina Cavazzana, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine at Paris Descartes University and Research Director at the Centre for Clinical Research in Biotherapy, Necker Hospital, and at the Institute of Genetic Diseases, Imagine, Paris France. “Sickle cell disease is a devastating disease that affects hundreds of thousands of people in the US and Europe and millions around the world. The therapeutic options for patients with sickle cell disease are currently limited, so the opportunity to bring a one-time, potentially curative treatment to these patients by modification of autologous hematopoietic stem cells would represent a great advance for patients with sickle cell disease and for the field.”

“Sickle cell disease shortens life expectancy by decades even in developed countries, so it is exciting to contemplate that LentiGlobin may offer the curative potential of allogeneic stem cell transplantation by using a patient’s own cells,” stated David Davidson, MD, bluebird bio’s Chief Medical Officer. “In June 2014, we reported preliminary results from the HGB-205 Study demonstrating that treatment with LentiGlobin drug product led to high-level production of beta-T87Q-globin and rapid transfusion independence in two beta-thalassemia major patients. Given the anti-sickling property of the amino acid substitution engineered into beta-T87Q-globin, we are optimistic about the potential for LentiGlobin to mitigate the signs and symptoms of sickle cell disease. We anticipate providing initial clinical data on LentiGlobin in sickle cell disease patients in 2015.”

About the HGB-205 Study
The phase 1/2 study is designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of LentiGlobin BB305 drug product in the treatment of subjects with beta-thalassemia major and severe sickle cell disease. The study is designed to enroll up to seven subjects. Subjects will be followed to evaluate safety and transfusion requirements post-transplant. In sickle cell disease patients, efficacy will also be measured based on the frequency of vaso-occlusive crises or acute chest syndrome events.

For more information on the HGB-205 Study, please visit www.clinicaltrials.gov using identifier NCT02151526.

About the HGB-206 Study
The phase 1 study is designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of LentiGlobin BB305 drug product in the treatment of subjects with severe sickle cell disease. The study is designed to enroll up to eight subjects. Subjects will be followed to evaluate safety and efficacy will be measured based on changes in red cell function tests, hemolysis markers and frequency of clinical events secondary to sickle cell disease (e.g. vaso-occlusive crises or acute chest syndrome events).

For more information on the HGB-206 Study, please visit www.clinicaltrials.gov using identifier NCT02140554.

About sickle cell disease
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a hereditary blood disorder resulting from a mutation in the beta globin gene that causes polymerization of hemoglobin proteins and abnormal red blood cell function. The symptoms of SCD include anemia, vaso-occlusive crises and strokes. The global incidence of SCD is estimated to be 250,000 to 300,000 births annually, and the global prevalence of the disease is estimated to be about 20 to 25 million.

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, is in a recently-initiated phase 2/3 study, the Starbeam 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 two phase 1/2 studies, one in the US (the Northstar Study) and one in France (HGB-205), for the treatment of beta-thalassemia major. The phase 1/2 HGB-205 study also allows enrollment of patient(s) with sickle cell disease, and bluebird bio is conducting a separate U.S. sickle cell disease trial (HGB-206).

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

bluebird bio has operations in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Seattle, Washington, 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 potential efficacy and safety of the Company’s LentiGlobin BB305 product candidate, the Company’s plans with respect to LentiGlobin and its other product candidates and anticipated clinical and business milestones and announcements for 2015. In addition it should be noted that the data for LentiGlobin announced from the HGB-205 study in patients with beta-thalassemia major are preliminary in nature and the HGB-205 trial is not completed. These data may not continue for these subjects or be repeated or observed in ongoing or future studies involving our LentiGlobin product candidate, including the HGB-205 Study, the Northstar Study or the HGB-206 study in severe SCD. Any forward-looking statements 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 studies and/or our development of our product candidates, the risk of a delay in the enrollment of patients in the Company’s clinical studies, 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 most recent annual report on Form 10-K, 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.

Availability of other information about bluebird bio
Investors and others should note that we communicate with our investors and the public using our company website (www.bluebirdbio.com), our investor relations website (http://www.bluebirdbio.com/investor-splash.html), including but not limited to investor presentations and FAQs, Securities and Exchange Commission filings, press releases, public conference calls and webcasts. You can also connect with us on Twitter @bluebirdbio, LinkedIn or our YouTube channel. The information that we post on these channels and websites could be deemed to be material information. As a result, we encourage investors, the media, and others interested in bluebird bio to review the information that we post on these channels, including our investor relations website, on a regular basis. This list of channels may be updated from time to time on our investor relations website and may include other social media channels than the ones described above. The contents of our website or these channels, or any other website that may be accessed from our website or these channels, shall not be deemed incorporated by reference in any filing under the Securities Act of 1933.

Source: bluebird bio, Inc.

Investor Relations:
bluebird bio, Inc
Richard E. T. Smith, Ph.D., 339-499-9382
or
Media Contact:
Pure Communications, Inc.
Dan Budwick, 973-271-6085

Media Contacts

Jenn Snyder

VP, Corporate Communications

(617) 448-0281

JSnyder@bluebirdbio.com

 

Catherine Falcetti

Senior Director, Corporate Communications

(339) 499-9436

CFalcetti@bluebirdbio.com

 

Investor Contact

Elizabeth Pingpank

Director, Corporate Communications

(617) 914-8736

EPingpank@bluebirdbio.com