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December 2, 2013 – bluebird bio, Inc. today announced that the first subject with beta-thalassemia major has been enrolled in its phase 1/2 HGB-205 study in France and has undergone infusion with bluebird bio’s LentiGlobin drug product in an autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
“We believe gene therapy represents a potentially new and exciting treatment option for patients with severe forms of beta-thalassemia and sickle cell disease,” stated Marina Cavazzana, MD, Professor of Medicine at Paris Descartes University and Research Director at the Centre for Clinical Research in Biotherapy, Necker Hospital, Paris France. “The HGB-205 study builds on early and encouraging clinical data from the LG001 study based on the pioneering work of Professor Philippe Leboulch and colleagues at the Universities of Paris and Harvard, Inserm and the French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA) research center in Paris.”
“It is very gratifying for our research, manufacturing and development teams to see their efforts to improve the potency and scalability of our product platform finally reach the clinic for patients with this life threatening disease. This milestone brings us closer towards realizing our vision of making hope a reality for patients with limited therapeutic options,” stated Dave Davidson, MD, bluebird bio’s Chief Medical Officer. “
The phase 1/2 study is designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of LentiGlobin drug product in the treatment of subjects with beta-thalassemia major and severe sickle cell disease. The study is designed to enroll up to seven subjects. Subjects will be followed to evaluate safety and transfusion requirements post-transplant. In sickle cell disease patients only, efficacy will also be measured based on the number of vaso-occlusive crises or acute chest syndrome events.
A second phase 1/2 study with LentiGlobin in the United States has been initiated for the treatment of beta-thalassemia major.
bluebird bio has operations in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Paris, France. For more information, please visit www.bluebirdbio.com