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bluebird Inks Genome Editing Research Deal With Novo Nordisk

Zacks Equity Research

bluebird bio, Inc. BLUE announced that it has entered into a research collaboration agreement with Denmark’s Novo Nordisk A/S NVO for jointly developing next-generation in vivo genome editing therapies for addressing genetic diseases including hemophilia.

The research collaboration will span over a period of three years and focus on developing a gene therapy candidate for offering hemophilia A patients with a lifetime free of factor replacement therapy. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal will leverage bluebird’s proprietary mRNA-based megaTAL gene editing technology with Novo Nordisk’s hemophilia portfolio. It will initially focus on correcting FVIII-clotting factor deficiency with the potential to explore additional therapies.

With this research pact, both companies are looking to develop a treatment to substantially reduce the burden of disease for patients with factor VIII deficiency. bluebird will get a strong partner in Novo Nordisk.

Shares of bluebird have lost 9.1% so far this year, compared with the industry’s decrease of 9.2%.

We remind investors that bluebird’s gene therapy gained ample attention of late. The objective of the therapy is to correct the underlying genetic defect, which is the cause of the disease rather than offering treatments that only address the symptoms.

In June 2019, the European Commission (EC) granted a conditional marketing authorization to Zynteglo (autologous CD34+ cells encoding βA-T87Q-globin gene also known as LentiGlobinfor TDT), a gene therapy for patients aged 12 years or older with transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia (TDT). They do not have a β0/β0 genotype and for them hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation is appropriate but a human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched related HSC donor is not available. Zynteglo is bluebird’s first gene therapy to obtain a regulatory approval.

bluebird expects to initiate a rolling biologics licensing application submission for Zynteglo to the FDA pertaining to patients with TDT and non-β0/β0 genotypes by 2019 end.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

bluebird currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Better-ranked stocks in the healthcare sector include Exact Sciences Corporation EXAS and Incyte Corporation INCY, both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Exact Sciences’ loss per share estimates have been narrowed 5.4% for 2019 and 10.1% for 2020 over the past 60 days. The stock has soared 44.3% year to date.

Incyte’s earnings estimates have moved 4.9% north for 2019 and 4.7% for 2020 over the past 60 days. The stock has rallied 17.4% year to date.

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Novo Nordisk A/S (NVO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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bluebird bio, Inc. (BLUE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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