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bluebird bio Appoints O. James Sterling as Chief Financial Officer

bluebird bio, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLUE) today announced that O. James Sterling, has been appointed chief financial officer (CFO), effective June 10, 2024. Mr. Sterling most recently served as chief financial officer of Renalytix plc, a diagnostics company focused on clinical management of kidney disease.

“We are thrilled to welcome James to bluebird bio. We are confident that his extensive experience in the healthcare sector and knowledge of the capital markets will position us well as we work to prove the commercial gene therapy model, and demonstrate progress on our path to profitability,” said Andrew Obenshain, chief executive officer, bluebird bio.

“It is an honor to be joining bluebird bio, a company that has pioneered gene therapy development over the past decade, and today is at the forefront of gene therapy commercialization,” said O. James Sterling. “I look forward to working alongside others in the flock to drive growth, realize value for shareholders, and most importantly, support bluebird in its mission to bring transformative gene therapies to patients and their families.”

Mr. Sterling was previously managing partner at Renwick Capital LLC, and managing director at investment banks Brock Capital Group LLC and Aleutian Capital Group. He also serves as a board director for a fund managed by Star Mountain Capital. Mr. Sterling has experience as a management consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. He received his B.A. from Boston University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Mr. Sterling succeeds Chris Krawtschuk, who joined bluebird bio as chief financial officer in 2022. The transition will be effective June 10, 2024.

“I’d like to thank Chris for his contributions to the company over the past two years. We are particularly appreciative of his leadership role in accelerating critical cash flow into the company, as well as the completion of two equity raises and a debt agreement, which significantly extended the Company’s cash runway and strengthened our financial position during his tenure,” said Obenshain.

On March 26, 2024, bluebird announced that it will restate its consolidated financial statements for the first three quarters and full-year 2022, as well as the first three quarters of 2023. As a result, the Company’s Annual Report Form 10-K for 2023 and its Q1 2024 Form 10-Q have been delayed. The Company is continuing to work expeditiously to complete these filings. Consistent with previous updates, the restatement is not expected to impact the Company’s cash position or revenue. Mr. Sterling will transition to oversee the restatement process upon his start date.

About bluebird bio, Inc.

bluebird bio is pursuing curative gene therapies to give patients and their families more bluebird days. Founded in 2010, bluebird has been setting the standard for gene therapy for more than a decade—first as a scientific pioneer and now as a commercial leader. bluebird has an unrivaled track record in bringing the promise of gene therapy out of clinical studies and into the real-world setting, having secured FDA approvals for three therapies in under two years. Today, we are proving and scaling the commercial model for gene therapy and delivering innovative solutions for access to patients, providers, and payers.

With a dedicated focus on severe genetic diseases, bluebird has the largest and deepest ex-vivo gene therapy data set in the field, with industry-leading programs for sickle cell disease, β-thalassemia and cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy. We custom design each of our therapies to address the underlying cause of disease and have developed in-depth and effective analytical methods to understand the safety of our lentiviral vector technologies and drive the field of gene therapy forward.

bluebird continues to forge new paths as a standalone commercial gene therapy company, combining our real-world experience with a deep commitment to patient communities and a people-centric culture that attracts and grows a diverse flock of dedicated birds.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements that are not statements of historical facts are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements, such as statements regarding the chief financial officer transition; proving the gene therapy model; realizing value for stockholders; path to profitability; and expectations regarding the Company’s restatement of certain historical financial statements and the timing for filing of its 2023 Form 10-K and Q1 2024 Form 10-Q. Such forward-looking statements are based on historical performance and current expectations and projections about bluebird’s future goals, plans and objectives and involve inherent risks, assumptions and uncertainties, including internal or external factors that could delay, divert or change any of them in the next several years, that are difficult to predict, may be beyond bluebird’s control and could cause bluebird’s future goals, plans and objectives to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the statements. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many risks and uncertainties that affect bluebird bio’s business, particularly those identified in the risk factors discussion in bluebird bio’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022, as updated by its subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Prospectus Supplement, dated December 22, 2023. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: delays and challenges in bluebird’s commercialization and manufacturing of its products, including challenges in manufacturing vector for ZYNTEGLO and SKYSONA to meet current demand; the internal and external costs required for bluebird’s ongoing and planned activities, and the resulting impact on expense and use of cash, has been, and may in the future be, higher than expected which has caused bluebird, and may in the future cause bluebird, to use cash more quickly than it expects or change or curtail some of its plans or both; substantial doubt exists regarding bluebird’s ability to continue as a going concern; bluebird’s expectations as to expenses, cash usage and cash needs may prove not to be correct for other reasons such as changes in plans or actual events being different than bluebird’s assumptions; risks related to bluebird's loan agreement, including the risk that operating restrictions could adversely affect bluebird's ability to conduct its business, the risk that bluebird will not achieve milestones required to access future tranches under the agreement, and the risk that bluebird will fail to comply with covenants under the agreement, including with respect to required revenue levels, which could result in an event of default; the risk that the efficacy and safety results from bluebird’s prior and ongoing clinical trials will not continue or be seen in the commercial context; the risk that bluebird is not able to activate QTCs on the timeframe that it expects; the risk that the QTCs experience delays in their ability to enroll or treat patients; the risk that bluebird experiences delays in establishing operational readiness across its supply chain following approval to support treatment in the commercial context; the risk that there is not sufficient patient demand or payer reimbursement to support continued commercialization of the Company’s therapies; the risk of insertional oncogenic or other safety events associated with lentiviral vector, drug product, or myeloablation, including the risk of hematologic malignancy; and the risk that bluebird’s products, including LYFGENIA, will not be successfully commercialized. The forward-looking statements included in this document are made only as of the date of this document and except as otherwise required by applicable law, bluebird bio undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise.


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