Personal Finance

Here's Why bluebird bio Jumped 13.5% Today

Normal and sickled red blood cells

What happened

Shares of bluebird bio (NASDAQ: BLUE) closed up 13.5% today following the release of abstracts for the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting in early December. Bluebird is scheduled to present data for its LentiGlobin gene therapy and its next-generation CAR T therapy, bb21217, as well as data from an early stage trial of BCL11a shRNAmiR in patients with sickle cell disease.

So what

The data on LentiGlobin for transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia is the most important event for Bluebird's near-term success since the gene therapy is the furthest along of the biotech's pipeline candidates. Today's move, however, is more likely due to the promising data for the earlier-stage candidates.

In a phase 1 trial testing bb21217 on patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, 6 of 7 patients demonstrated clinical response, which isn't too bad considering the patients had previously received a median of nine prior lines of therapy. One patient had previously been treated with a whopping 17 lines of therapy.

In another phase I study, treatment of sickle cell disease patients with BCL11a shRNAmiR reduced the expression of BCL11A protein by 90% compared to pre-treatment levels. BCL11A is responsible for switching from fetal hemoglobin, which isn't a problem for sickle cell patients, to the defective beta hemoglobin. By turning off the switch, patients no longer had irreversibly sickled cells

Normal and sickled red blood cells

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

The cutoff for data to be included in the abstract was months ago, so the presentations at the ASH meeting will be important to see if the promising results for bb21217 and BCL11a shRNAmiR hold up when tested on larger patient populations.

10 stocks we like better than Bluebird Bio

When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor , has quadrupled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Bluebird Bio wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

Click here to learn about these picks!

*Stock Advisor returns as of August 6, 2018

Brian Orelli has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends bluebird bio. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story


Other Topics


Latest Personal Finance Videos

The Motley Fool

Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world's greatest investment community. Reaching millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, radio show, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services, The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. The company's name was taken from Shakespeare, whose wise fools both instructed and amused, and could speak the truth to the king -- without getting their heads lopped off.

Learn More