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bluebird bio splits to create new oncology firm 2seventy bio

2seventy bio gets the company’s immune-oncology cell therapies products, while bluebird bio will continue its work on severe genetic diseases

bluebird bio

As announced earlier this year, Cambridge, Massachusetts-based bluebird bio has spun off its oncology unit as a separate company, 2seventy bio.

At its launch, 2seventy bio’s assets include bluebird bio's immune-oncology cell therapy products for solid tumours and haematologic malignancies, as well as $442m in cash to fund its operations into 2023.

Its portfolio includes a development and commercialisation deal with Bristol Myers Squibb for Abecma (idecabtagene vicleucel), its B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-directed CAR T-cell therapy approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a fifth-line multiple myeloma treatment earlier this year.

The therapy brought in $67m in sales in its first full quarter after launch in the US and trials are underway to investigate its use in earlier-line treatment.

The next six months looks set to be busy for 2seventy bio, as it aims to present data from a phase 1 trial of bb21217, a CAR T-cell therapy in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma patients by the end of this year, and intends to begin phase 1 studies for two therapeutic candidates, SC-DARIC33 in relapsed or refractory paediatric and young adult acute myeloid leukaemia, and bbT369 in relapsed or refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Announcing bluebird bio’s sales for the third quarter, newly appointed CEO (and former rare disease head) Andrew Obenshain said the focus had been on completing the separation of and  “realising the value” of the two independent companies.

"Notably this quarter, we secured additional capital through the close of a private financing and completion of the sale of our manufacturing facility in North Carolina and continued to make meaningful progress with our product pipeline, including filing the US biologics licensing application for Beti-cel for beta-thalassaemia,” he added.

Beti-cel (betibeglogene autotemcel) is a gene therapy for adult, adolescent and paediatric patients with beta-thalassaemia who require regular red blood cell transfusions, across all genotypes. If approved, it will be the first haematopoietic (blood) stem cell ex vivo gene therapy for patients in the US.

Following the split, bluebird bio has moved its headquarters three miles north to Assembly Row, where it said it would establish a 'biotech hub' beside another new resident, sportswear giant, Puma. Due to a shift to home working for many of its 425 employees, the company will also save $120m a year in its new offices and is implementing a 'distributed work model' to maximise 'engagement and productivity' from a hybrid working model.

Article by
Hugh Gosling

8th November 2021

From: Healthcare



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