bluebird bio Inc (NASDAQ:BLUE), a clinical-stage company committed to developing potentially transformative gene therapies for severe genetic diseases and T cell-based immunotherapies for cancer, announced treatment of the first patient in a Phase 1 study of its product candidate bb2121 in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. bb2121 is a chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR T) therapy targeting B cell maturation antigen (BCMA), and bluebird bio is developing bb2121 in collaboration with Celgene Corporation. bluebird bio also announced today that Celgene has exercised its option to exclusively license bb2121, under the terms of the collaboration agreement between the two companies.

“bb2121 is bluebird bio’s first oncology program to enter the clinic, and the treatment of this first patient marks an important milestone for us as we build a broad, fully integrated T cell immunotherapy franchise,” said Nick Leschly, chief bluebird. “We are pleased that Celgene has exercised their option to license bb2121. We believe our combined manufacturing, development and commercial expertise will enable us to rapidly advance bb2121 through clinical trials.”

“Despite many recent advances in the field, multiple myeloma remains incurable, with almost all patients becoming refractory to therapy eventually,” said James N. Kochenderfer, M.D., National Cancer Institute, an investigator for the CRB-401 study. “BCMA is one of the most exciting targets in multiple myeloma, and we are eager to explore the potential of bb2121 to become an important new treatment option for patients living with multiple myeloma.”

bluebird bio and Celgene amended and restated their collaboration agreement in June 2015 to focus on developing product candidates targeting BCMA during a three-year collaboration term. By exercising its exclusive option under the terms of the agreement, Celgene will be responsible for worldwide development and commercialization of bb2121 after Phase 1. bluebird bio is responsible for the development of bb2121 through the completion of the CRB-401 Phase 1 study and has an option to share in the development, promotion and profits in the United States. bluebird bio will receive a $10 million option exercise payment from Celgene, and bluebird bio is also eligible to receive specified development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments and royalty payments on net sales. (Original Source)

Shares of bluebird bio closed yesterday at $50.13, up $5.58 or 12.53%. BLUE has a 1-year high of $197.35 and a 1-year low of $37.40. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $48.87 and its 200-day moving average is $86.75.

On the ratings front, bluebird has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on February 3, Leerink Swann analyst Michael Schmidt initiated coverage with a Buy rating on BLUE and a price target of $67, which implies an upside of 33.7% from current levels. Separately, on January 5, Maxim Group’s Jason McCarthy reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $105.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Michael Schmidt and Jason McCarthy have a total average return of -3.3% and -22.5% respectively. Schmidt has a success rate of 44.4% and is ranked #2652 out of 3610 analysts, while McCarthy has a success rate of 20.0% and is ranked #3554.

Overall, 4 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 7 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $123.67 which is 146.7% above where the stock closed yesterday.

bluebird bio Inc is a clinical-stage biotechnology company. It is engaged in developing potentially transformative gene therapies for severe genetic and rare diseases and in the field of T cell-based immunotherapy.