Resilience forks out $110m for Bluebird site in cell therapy partnership

Resilience will acquire Bluebird’s North Carolina lentiviral vector manufacturing facility for $110 million, kickstarting an alliance to drive R&D and cell therapy production.

Under the terms of the deal, Resilience will acquire Bluebird’s 125,000 square-foot manufacturing plant in Durham, North Carolina, which it only opened two years ago after acquiring the facility in November 2017 and investing $80 million in the site.

Bluebird will receive the $110 million upfront and have preferred lentiviral vector (LVV) production access. The firm claims this will reduce operational costs over the coming years.

Image: iStock/klenger

Through the acquisition, Resilience will gain more than 100 Bluebird employees at the site with plans to invest in technologies and expand the workforce further as part of the firm’s aim to create an end-to-end biomanufacturing eco system.

“The acquisition of the facility gives us 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,” said Rahul Singhvi, CEO of Resilience.

Resilience will support vector supply for Bluebird and 2seventy bio, Bluebird’s oncology cell therapy firm that is anticipated to launch by the end of 2021.

According to Resilience, it looks to partner with Bluebird on the next phase of 2seventy’s clinical pipeline by applying their respective expertise in cell therapy development and production through a risk-sharing strategy.

Furthermore, both firms are drawing up plans for a definitive agreement to establish collaboration programs that will share cost and earnings for successfully commercialized oncology products.

“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 Singhvi.

Bluebird and 2seventy will benefit from flexible and guaranteed access to LVV manufacturing for their current and future pipeline programs.