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bluebird bio gears up for split

The company has filled its coffers with $75m in new funding and hired new leaders to support its split into two separate companies, bluebird bio and 2seventy bio

bluebird bio logo

As Massachusetts-based biotech bluebird bio gears up to split into two, it has announced additions to its senior management and board, as well as an additional $75m in funding.

In October, the company will split into two independent, publicly traded companies, bluebird bio and 2seventy bio, but few details of the split have been announced.

To support both companies through the transition, bluebird has entered into an agreement for a $75m private placement of common stock and common stock equivalents with a healthcare investment fund selected as part of a competitive process.

The announcements come amid intense debate among investors after the company’s year-long ‘cash burn’ has seen it spend $678m since last July.

“When combined with the approximately $900m of cash expected at the time of separation, this $75m equity investment further strengthens the starting financial position of both businesses,” said chief bluebird, Nick Leschly. “We look forward to sharing more detail on the innovative and transformative therapies being developed as well as the pipeline, milestones, and strategic outlook for both companies as we head into separation and beyond.”

What the company has announced is that recently hired Gina Consylman will become chief financial officer of bluebird bio. Consylman joined the company in August as CFO for severe gastric diseases, overseeing finance, tax, accounting, treasury, insurance and investor relations.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Gina Consylman to the leadership team of bluebird bio,” said Andrew Obenshain, bluebird’s president of severe genetic disease. “Her prior experience in a similar spin transaction and helping lead a successful commercial organization through periods of change has already made her an invaluable partner as we move through an important execution phase at bluebird.”

Consylman has more than 25 years of experience, mostly recently as CFO at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals and, before that, at Analogic Corporation and Biogen.

The company has also announced that Harvard’s Dr Marcela Maus, will join bluebird bio’s board of directors, moving to the board of 2seventy bio when the company is formed.

Maus is currently an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, the Paula O’Keefe chair in oncology and director of cellular immunotherapy at Mass General Cancer Center, where she is also an attending physician in the hematopoietic cell transplant and cell therapy division.

“Marcela’s work as a translational physician-scientist in the field of immunology, particularly as it relates to T-cell immunotherapies and cellular therapies in the treatment of cancer makes her ideally suited to provide valuable insights to the 2seventy team,” said Leschly.

Article by
Hugh Gosling

9th September 2021

From: Healthcare

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