bluebird bio is pursuing two avenues to secure up to $250m to address financial challenges exacerbated by the absence of an expected priority review voucher from the FDA. 

The first involves a proposed public offering, with bluebird working with working with Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Securities, aiming to raise $150m. The second is an agreement with speciality finance company Alterna Capital Solutions, providing access to up to $100m. 

Under the deal, bluebird will sell Alterna some of its trade accounts receivable, accelerating cash collection compared to the current invoicing process. However, bluebird will receive 90% of the owed amount until Alterna obtains payment, with associated fees. 

The funds from Alterna will cater to general working capital needs while the proposed offering targets support for the commercialisation and manufacturing of bluebirds three gene therapies, notably Skysona (elivaldogene autotemcel), Zynteglo (betibeglogene autotemcel) and the recently approved sickle cell disease treatment Lyfgenia (lovotibeglogene autotemcel). 

Bluebird had anticipated the FDA’s approval of a priority review voucher for Lyfgenia. As per the Priority Review Voucher programme, a company receives a separate voucher that can be used for a different drug when it receives FDA approval for a drug with a priority review designation. The biotech declared in October that Novartis had committed to purchasing this voucher for $103m. However, ultimately, the FDA decided against granting the voucher for Lyfgenia.  

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

In the approval letter from the FDA on 8 December, the agency attributed this decision to Lyfgenia’s active ingredient already being used in bluebird’s Zynteglo. Due to this, despite a high-profile approval coming through that day, bluebird’s share price fell by nearly 44% and is yet to recover. 

The FDA approval for bluebird’s sickle cell disease cell therapy Lyfgenia coincided with the approval of Vertex/CRISPR’s Casgevy (exagamglogene autotemcel). Lyfgenia is derived from a patient’s blood stem cells, employing cell-based gene therapy to incorporate a novel haemoglobin gene, replacing malfunctioning cells. The therapy initially received a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) date of 20 December, meaning the cell therapy was approved ahead of time.  

According to GlobalData’s Pharma Intelligence Center, Lyfgenia is forecast to generate $1.27bn in sales in 2030.  

GlobalData is the parent company of Pharmaceutical Technology.