bluebird bio Inc (NASDAQ:BLUE) announced the signing of a strategic research and development collaboration and licensing agreement encompassing T cell receptor (TCR) immunotherapies against four targets.
“We are delighted to collaborate with bluebird bio, a leader in the field of cell and gene therapy, including cancer immunotherapy,” said Dolores J. Schendel, chief executive officer and chief scientific officer, Medigene. “With its T cell immunotherapy expertise and outstanding gene delivery and genome editing capabilities, bluebird bio is an ideal partner for us to jointly discover and develop a new generation of T cell therapeutics to treat unmet oncology indications.”
“Medigene’s proprietary technology to generate highly active natural TCRs makes them an ideal partner, enabling us to broaden our pipeline with TCR-based product candidates against four new targets and continue to build our leadership in immuno-oncology,” said Rick Morgan, Ph.D., vice president of immunotherapy, bluebird bio. “This agreement exploits our core expertise in lentiviral gene transfer, genome editing and synthetic biology, and leverages our manufacturing and clinical development capabilities to build a broad, fully integrated immuno-oncology franchise.”
“Our first commercial agreement based on Medigene’s TCR technology is testimony to our rapid progress as an immuno-oncology company,” added Dave Lemus, chief operating officer,Medigene. “Furthermore, the agreement provides Medigene with significant additional financial resources for both the short term and potentially the long term as we participate in the value creation of the cell therapeutics that we jointly create.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Medigene will be responsible for the generation and delivery of the TCRs using its TCR isolation and characterization platform. Following the collaborative preclinical development, bluebird bio will assume sole responsibility for the clinical development and commercialization of the TCR product candidates and will receive an exclusive license for the intellectual property covering the resulting TCRs.
Medigene will receive an upfront payment of USD 15 million as well as potential preclinical, clinical, regulatory and commercial milestone payments, which together could total over USD 1 billion in the aggregate for the four potential TCR products across several indications. Additionally, Medigene will receive R&D funding for all work performed in the collaboration and is eligible for tiered royalty payments on net sales up to a double-digit percentage.
Contractual parties to the agreement are Medigene Immunotherapies GmbH, a wholly owned affiliate of Medigene AG, and bluebird bio, Inc. (Original Source)
Shares of Bluebird are currently trading at $67.87, down $1.24 or -1.79%. BLUE has a 1-year high of $106.95 and a 1-year low of $35.37. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $58.89 and its 200-day moving average is $48.79.
On the ratings front, BLUE stock has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on September 22, Maxim analyst Jason McCarthy reiterated a Buy rating on BLUE, with a price target of $85.00, which represents a potential upside of 23% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on the same day, Roth Capital’s Mark Breidenbach initiated coverage with a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $87.00.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Jason McCarthy and Mark Breidenbach have a total average return of -4.1% and -20.6% respectively. McCarthy has a success rate of 39% and is ranked #3824 out of 4181 analysts, while Breidenbach has a success rate of 19% and is ranked #4022.
The street is mostly Bullish on BLUE stock. Out of 9 analysts who cover the stock, 8 suggest a Buy rating and one recommends to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $103.50, which implies an upside of 49.8% from current levels.
bluebird bio, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company. The company develops next generation products based on the transformative potential of gene therapy to treat patients with severe genetic and orphan diseases. It has two clinical-stage programs in development for childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy and beta-thalassemia/sickle cell disease and a preclinical oncology program in the chimeric antigen receptor T cells field.