bluebird bio Announces Global Strategic Collaboration with Celgene to Advance Gene Therapy in Oncology

  bluebird bio Announces Global Strategic Collaboration with Celgene to
  Advance Gene Therapy in Oncology

- Separately, Celgene and bluebird bio to collaborate with the Center for Cell
      and Gene Therapy to advance new and existing CAR T-cell programs -

Business Wire

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- March 21, 2013

bluebird bio, a privately-held biotechnology company focused on gene therapy,
today announced the formation of a broad, global strategic collaboration with
Celgene Corporation to discover, develop and commercialize novel
disease-altering gene therapies in oncology. The collaboration will focus on
applying gene therapy technology to genetically modify a patient’s own
T-cells, known as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells, to target and
destroy cancer cells. The multi-year research and development collaboration
has the potential to lead to the development and commercialization of multiple
CAR T-cell products. Celgene has an option to license any products resulting
from the collaboration after the completion of a Phase 1 clinical study for
each such product. bluebird bio will be responsible for research and
development activity through Phase 1 studies.

Additionally, Celgene has also entered into a separate strategic collaboration
in the CAR T-cell field with the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor
College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital and The Methodist Hospital,
Houston, led by Malcolm Brenner, M.D., Ph.D., professor, Department of
Molecular and Human Genetics and the director, Center for Cell and Gene
Therapy. bluebird bio, Celgene and Dr. Brenner’s team will work
collaboratively to advance and develop existing and new products and programs
in the CAR T-cell field.

“The genetic manipulation of autologous T-cells is a new frontier in oncology,
one that shows early promise in emerging clinical trials,” said Tom Daniel,
president, research & early development at Celgene. “We see strong prospects
for this collaboration between Celgene, bluebird bio and Baylor College of
Medicine’s experienced leaders in this emerging field, led by Dr. Brenner, to
advance this innovative approach to intractable problems in oncology.”

“We believe that our recent advances in the industrialization of our gene
therapy platform will drive improvements in the potency, purity, efficiency
and scalability of our lentiviral gene therapy programs. These advances
provide us with an opportunity to apply our platform, intellectual property
and know-how to the development of additional product candidates in
indications such as CAR T-cells for cancer,” stated Nick Leschly, CEO of
bluebird bio. “Celgene is a global leader in oncology and, combined with
Baylor’s expertise in the CAR T-cell field, we have created a great
opportunity to drive innovation in a new and exciting area.”

Financial terms of the agreement include an upfront payment and up to $225
million per product in potential option fees and clinical and regulatory
milestones. bluebird bio also has the right to participate in the development
and commercialization of any licensed products resulting from the
collaboration through a 50/50 co-development and profit share in the United
States in exchange for a reduction of milestones. Royalties would also be paid
in regions where there is no profit share including in the United States if
bluebird bio declines to exercise their co-development and profit sharing

The gene therapy products currently in clinical development at bluebird bio
for the treatment of childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy, beta-thalassemia
and sickle cell disease are independent of this collaboration.

Cowen and Company contributed as a strategic advisor to bluebird bio on this

About CAR T-Cell Therapy

CAR T-cell therapy represents a promising, emerging approach to treating
cancer. Blood is withdrawn from a patient and the T-cells are then extracted
from a patient's blood. These cells are then genetically modified to recognize
and attack cancer cells and then re-introduced into the patient's blood. The
patient’s genetically modified cells are intended to bind to and kill the
target cancer cells.

About bluebird bio

bluebird bio is developing potentially transformative gene therapies for
severe genetic and orphan diseases. bluebird bio has two clinical-stage
programs in development for childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (CCALD)
and beta-thalassemia/sickle cell disease. Led by a management team with
extensive industry experience, bluebird bio is privately held and backed by
top-tier life sciences investors. Its operations are located in Cambridge,
Mass., San Francisco, Calif., and Paris, France. For more information, please

About Celgene

Celgene Corporation, headquartered in Summit, New Jersey, is an integrated
global biopharmaceutical company engaged primarily in the discovery,
development and commercialization of novel therapies for the treatment of
cancer and inflammatory diseases through gene and protein regulation. For more
information, please visit


Media Contact:
Pure Communications, Inc.
Dan Budwick, 973-271-6085
Michele Rozen, 617-953-2214
Investor Contact:
MacDougall Biomedical Communications
Chris Erdman, 781-235-3060
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.