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 deal, announced Wednesday, has Sanofi paying $9.50 per share in cash for Kadmon, a roughly 77% premium to the biotech’s Tuesday closing price and 113% more than its average trading price over the last two months.
RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, has long been a top target for vaccine developers. While companies have suffered high-profile trial failures over the years, vaccines are now advancing through late-stage testing and could launch in 2023, SVB Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges wrote to clients this week.
By monitoring which areas of the brain responded to localized electrical stimulation, scientists from the Google Research Brain Team and Mayo Clinic developed an artificial intelligence algorithm to map out the structure of brain networks.