Rare Daily Staff

Bluebird Bio will sell its Research Triangle manufacturing facility to National Resilience as part of a strategic alliance between the two companies aimed at accelerating the early research, development, and delivery of cell therapies.

Resilience will retain all the more than 100 technical staff and administrators currently employed at the site.

Resilience will continue to support vector supply for both Bluebird Bio and 2seventy Bio, Bluebird’s spin-off oncology cell therapy company that is expected to launch by the end of 2021. The two companies are also finalizing a definitive agreement to establish partner programs that will share expense and revenue for successfully commercialized oncology products and in parallel establish a next-generation manufacturing R&D collaboration.

The 125,000-square foot facility, located in Durham, North Carolina, is currently manufacturing lentiviral vector, a critical component for cell and gene therapies. The facility includes drug substance and drug product production suites, quality control testing laboratories, and warehousing space, as well as additional footprint for future expansion. Resilience will continue to invest in the advancement of new technologies and expand the workforce as part of the company’s mission to build a digitally connected, end-to-end biomanufacturing ecosystem.

Upon completion of the acquisition, the Resilience network will include 10 sites in North America with more than 1 million square feet of manufacturing, development, and support space.

In consideration for the acquisition of the facility upon the closing of the transaction, Bluebird will receive $110 million from Resilience. Bluebird and 2seventy will continue to benefit from flexible and guaranteed access to lentiviral vector manufacturing for their emerging pipeline programs and the facility will be the primary source of suspension lentiviral vector.

The two companies plan to collaborate on the next phase of 2seventy’s pipeline, each applying their respective innovations in cell therapy development and manufacturing through a risk-sharing model.

“This alliance supports our vision of innovative product participation business models and Bluebird’s demonstrated leadership and expertise in the field of gene and cell therapy makes them an ideal partner for this next phase of growth,” said Rahul Singhvi, CEO of Resilience.

He said the facility gives Resilience an important strategic presence in the Research Triangle region with one of the largest and most technically advanced facilities focused exclusively on cell and gene therapy manufacturing.

“As we continue to pivot toward the planned separation of Bluebird and 2seventy, this strategic partnership allows us to share risk, streamline our business operations, provide additional capital, and importantly ensures uninterrupted access to vector supply as we develop additional transformative treatments,” said Nick Leschly, CEO of Bluebird.

The closing of the transaction will be subject to the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, the negotiation of certain definitive agreements and other customary closing conditions.

Photo: Nick Leschly, CEO of Bluebird Bio

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