Bluebird whistles up a co-development/co-promotion pact with Celgene on bb2121 CAR-T

Bluebird bio $BLUE has picked up an option to co-promote and co-develop its closely-watched anti-BCMA CAR-T bb2121 for multiple myeloma patients alongside Celgene $CELG.

Joanne Smith-Farrell

Having worked together over the past 5 years, bluebird says it will cover half of the development costs for bb2121, beginning in April, while looking to split the profits it generates in the US. Celgene is in control outside the US.

According to bluebird’s SEC filing, the biotech is in line for a $70 million milestone on the first indication, with more milestones on the table for other types of cancer. And the two companies are creating a joint operating committee to oversee development and marketing.

The partners are arguably in the lead on BCMA, but everyone else in CAR-T has their eye on this one, which will likely deliver some major league competition. One wild card is China’s Legend Biotech, which recently completed a pact with J&J after wowing ASCO with their data.

“Entering into this co-development and co-promotion partnership with Celgene is a significant step forward in building a fully integrated oncology franchise for bluebird and together, we are committed to rapidly advancing development of bb2121 for patients,” said Joanne Smith-Farrell, oncology franchise leader and senior vice president, corporate development and strategy, bluebird bio.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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