Bluebird is an important company in gene therapy’s reemergence. The company’s progress developing treatments for rare genetic diseases early last decade helped boost confidence in gene therapy at a time when the field was still recovering from setbacks. Now, gene therapy is a fast-growing field, with many publicly traded companies, a handful of approved products and dozens of startups raising record levels of investment from venture investors.
But Bluebird has had a bumpy ride since debuting as a public company in 2013. Shares swung wildly over the years amid various clinical delays and manufacturing setbacks, while competition from newer gene editing technologies dimmed the outlook for some of its treatments. At less than $30 per share, Bluebird’s stock currently trades at levels not recorded for eight years.
The approval of Skysona reflects Bluebird’s up-and-down story. It’s a scientific achievement, making Bluebird the first company with two marketed gene replacement therapies. (The company also successfully developed an genetically engineered cell therapy called Abecma for the blood cancer multiple myeloma. Others have multiple cell therapies approved.) READ MORE
By Ben Fidler
The new company will have four complementary businesses: Perfumery & Beauty, Food & Beverage/Taste & Beyond, Health, Nutrition & Care and Animal Nutrition & Health, each with strong market positions and expertise to address emerging consumer trends. The businesses will also prioritize environmental sustainability, health and well-being.
Merck (MSD) has signed a definitive agreement for the acquisition of all outstanding shares of Imago BioSciences for a total equity price of nearly $1.35bn. A clinical-stage biopharmaceutical firm, Imago focuses on the development of new therapies to treat myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) and other bone marrow ailments.
Danish pharma Novo Nordisk has announced plans to invest 5.4 billion Danish kroner to expand its existing facilities in Bagsværd. The project will establish extra R&D capacity for manufacturing APIs to supply the company’s global clinical trials for oral and injectable products. The expansion is expected to be finished in 2024, creating about 160 new jobs.