bluebird bio, Inc. ( BLUE ) gained 72.4% after the company announced encouraging data from two studies on eight patients - phase I/II Northstar (HGB-204) study and phase I/II HGB-205 study - on its blood disease candidate LentiGlobin BB305. The data was presented during the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology. Overall the stock has gained 69.2%.
The ongoing open-label, single-dose, international, multi-center Northstar study is evaluating the use of the candidate in patients suffering from beta-thalassemia major, while the ongoing, open-label, single-center HGB-205 study is evaluating the use of the candidate in patients suffering from beta-thalassemia major and severe sickle cell disease.
In the studies the first four patients who had at least three months of follow-up treatment with LentiGlobin BB305 experienced sufficient hemoglobin production to reduce or eliminate the need for transfusion support among patients with beta-thalassemia major who would otherwise require chronic blood transfusions. In both these studies, LentiGlobin BB305 has been well tolerated to date.
bluebird bio plans to complete the enrolling of patients for the Northstar and HGB-205 studies next year.
In its press release the company stated that beta-thalassemia major affects approximately 40,000 newborn children worldwide annually. The currently available treatments for beta-thalassemia major are associated with significant side effects and limitations, highlighting the need for new treatments.
bluebird bio carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Other well-ranked stocks in the health care sector include Amgen Inc. ( AMGN ), AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ( AMAG ) and Actavis ( ACT ). While Amgen carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), AMAG Pharma and Actavis hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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