Bluebird Bio Inc., which is developing gene therapies for rare diseases and cancer, fell after reporting a wider loss than analysts had estimated amid a selloff in biotechnology stocks.
Bluebird, which has no approved drugs, slipped 1.3 percent to $154.84 at the New York close after falling as much as 18 percent earlier in the session. The company said late Thursday that operating expenses almost tripled in the second quarter and its net loss widened to $1.57 per share, more than double the 78 cents analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected.
The stock’s decline was exacerbated by a broader market pessimism about biotechnology companies, according to Eric Schmidt, an analyst at Cowen & Co.
Several biotech firms “were taken out to the woodshed” in recent days, Schmidt said. “We can sit back and Friday morning quarterback as much as we want, but sometimes there are more sellers than buyers.”
Schmidt pointed to selloffs in Radius Health Inc., which dropped 10 percent on Thursday and another 2.8 percent on Friday, and Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc., which fell 11 percent on Thursday and 2.1 percent on Friday. Both companies said spending rose in the second quarter. Neither firm currently has any drugs on the market.
By comparison, the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index fell 3.9 percent on Thursday and 0.7 percent on Friday.