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bluebird bio Appoints Joanne Smith-Farrell, Ph.D., to Chief Business Officer

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 1, 2019-- bluebird bio, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLUE), has appointed Joanne Smith-Farrell, Ph.D., to chief business officer. In this role, Joanne will lead corporate development and strategy, and she will also continue to serve as our oncology franchise leader.

“Under Joanne’s leadership, bluebird has built a strong corporate development team that has executed on significant deal flow, enhancing our emerging immuno-oncology and severe genetic disease pipeline and expanding our set of tools, technologies, capabilities and partners,” said Jeff Walsh, chief strategy officer, bluebird bio. “She has also built a robust structure and team leading our growing oncology franchise.”

“As bluebird continues to expand its research, development and commercial efforts, I’m motivated by the personal stories of those we are aiming to help with our portfolio of novel tools and technologies,” said Dr. Smith-Farrell. “I look forward to continuing to work with the entire bluebird team and our partners who have joined us in our meaningful efforts to recode opportunities in cell and gene therapy to tackle a range of unmet needs for patients.”

Joanne has been promoted to chief business officer after joining bluebird in April 2017 as our senior vice president, corporate development and strategy. Prior to joining bluebird, Joanne was vice president, business development transactions at Merck, Inc. At Merck, Joanne led the team that structured, negotiated and executed business development transactions supporting Merck Research Labs. Prior to Merck, she was vice president of strategic transactions at Pfizer, Inc. Joanne holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the Catholic University of America and a B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from Vanderbilt University. She was also a Fellow in Biomedical & Chemical Engineering at The Harvard-MIT Division for Health Science & Technology (Dr. Robert Langer’s Lab) where she received the NIH National Service Award in Research.

About bluebird bio, Inc.

bluebird bio is pioneering gene therapy with purpose. From our Cambridge, Mass., headquarters, we’re developing gene therapies for severe genetic diseases and cancer, with the goal that people facing potentially fatal conditions with limited treatment options can live their lives fully. Beyond our labs, we’re working to positively disrupt the healthcare system to create access, transparency and education so that gene therapy can become available to all those who can benefit.

bluebird bio is a human company powered by human stories. We’re putting our care and expertise to work across a spectrum of disorders by researching cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy, sickle cell disease, transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia and multiple myeloma using three gene therapy technologies: gene addition, cell therapy and (megaTAL-enabled) gene editing.

bluebird bio has additional nests in Seattle, Wash.; Durham, N.C.; and Zug, Switzerland. For more information, visit

Follow bluebird bio on social media: @bluebirdbio, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

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, and anticipated development and commercialization plans for, the Company’s product candidates. 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 risks that results from our prior and ongoing clinical trials of our product candidates will not continue or be repeated in our ongoing or planned clinical trials; risks that the current or planned clinical trials of our product candidates will be insufficient to support future regulatory submissions or to support marketing approval in the U.S. and EU and the risk that our product candidates will not be successfully developed, approved or 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 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.

Source: bluebird bio, Inc.

bluebird bio
Elizabeth Pingpank, 617-914-8736

Jenn Snyder, 617-448-0281