bluebird bio, a Cambridge, Mass., and Paris-based developer of gene therapies for severe genetic disorders, has closed a $60m Series D funding.
Backers include new investors Deerfield Partners, RA Capital, and Ramius Capital Group, as well as two unnamed blue chip public investment funds. They have joined existing investors ARCH Venture Partners, Third Rock Ventures, TVM Capital, and Forbion Capital Partners.
Shire plc joined the round as a strategic investor.
The company intends to use the funding to advance its clinical programs in severe genetic disorders, including childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (CCALD), beta-thalassemia and sickle cell disease. bluebird bio plans to initiate a Phase 2/3 clinical study in CCALD in both the United States and Europe in 2013, as well as a second U.S.-based Phase 1/2 study in beta-thalassemia in 2013. In addition, the company expects to initiate a more extensive sickle cell disease development program and invest in manufacturing, clinical and commercial infrastructure to support the upcoming clinical trials and pre-commercial launch activities.
bluebird bio is led by CEO Nick Leschly and chairman of the board of directors Dan Lynch.