Richard Morgan, Ph.D. Joins bluebird bio as Vice President of Immunotherapy
Established Thought Leader in the CAR-T Field
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- October 1, 2013
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 Dr. Rick Morgan is joining the company
as vice president of Immunotherapy.
Dr. Morgan joins the company from National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the
National Institutes of Health where he was a Staff Scientist, working on
genetically modified T-lymphocytes. He is also an associate investigator on
all NCI Surgery Branch Clinical Gene Therapy Protocols. Previously Dr. Morgan
was Interim Chief at the Clinical Gene Therapy Branch of the National Human
Genome Research Institute.
“We are excited that Richard is joining bluebird bio,” stated Mitchell Finer,
PhD, bluebird bio’s Chief Scientific Officer. “This is an exciting time for
the company as we expand our immunotherapy program. Richard has established
himself as a leader in immunotherapy and gene therapy and will be key to
advancing our CAR-T efforts and more broadly our T-cell platform.”
Dr. Morgan was a member of the team that preformed the world’s first human
gene therapy experiments in 1990 and in 2006 he was the first to report that
genetically engineered T cells can cause cancer regression in humans. In his
30 years career, Dr. Morgan has received multiple awards, most recently the
Technology Transfer Award from the National Cancer Institute in 2012 and the
NCI Director’s Intramural Innovation Award in 2010. He is a member of the
American Association for the Advancement of Science, The Johns Hopkins Medical
and Surgical Association, American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy and
Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer. Dr. Morgan is an author of more than 190
scientific publications including papers with Nobel laureates EJ Corey, Harold
Varmus, and Andrew Fire. Dr. Morgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry
from Brandeis University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Genetics from The Johns
“This is a revolutionary time in the fields of immunotherapy and gene
therapy,” stated Dr. Morgan. “bluebird bio has established a leading group of
researchers in the field of CAR-T, a novel approach to treating cancers and
potentially, a wide range of immune mediated diseases. I look forward to
working with the team to advance these treatments towards the clinic.”
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, recently initiated a phase 2/3 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 a phase 1/2 study in France for the
treatment of beta-thalassemia major and severe sickle cell disease. A second
phase 1/2 study with LentiGlobin in the United States has been initiated for
the treatment of beta-thalassemia major.
bluebird bio also has an early-stage chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cell
(CAR-T) program for oncology in partnership with Celgene Corporation.
bluebird bio has operations in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Paris, France. For
more information, please visit www.bluebirdbio.com.
This release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements
regarding the advancement of our clinical trials. Any forward-looking
statements in this press release 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 trials
and/or our development of our product candidates, 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
quarterly report on Form 10-Q, 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.
bluebird bio, Inc.
Richard E. T. Smith, Ph.D., 617-588-3321
Pure Communications, Inc.
Dan Budwick, 973-271-6085
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