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Bluebird Bio Shares Under Pressure As Wedbush Warns Of Pediatric Study Delay

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A recommended delay in a pediatric trial of Bluebird Bio Inc (NASDAQ: BLUE)'s anemia treatment LentiGlobin won't affect its launch date, an analyst said Tuesday.

The biotech company was off nearly 3 percent recently at $181.17

Bluebird said Tuesday that a panel advising the National Institutes of Health recommended delaying a study of the drug among children by one to two years.

A separate study of the drug among adults is unaffected and Bluebird said it would take the panel's recommendation "under advisement."

Wedbush's David M. Nierengarten said the development doesn't affect his estimated launch date for LentiGlobin, which he expects in the U.S. in 2019 and in Europe in 2018.

The prospective treatment is aimed at both sickle-cell anemia and another form of anemia called beta thalassemia.

Bluebird on Saturday expects to present interim results of an ongoing Phase I/II study of the drug at a conference in Vienna.

Highlights of the presentation posted May 21 sent Bluebird's shares up about 10 percent.

"Weakness in the stock presents a buying opportunity" ahead of Saturday's presentation, Nierengarten said, maintaining a Buy rating and $222 target on Bluebird.

The company plans a conference call with analysts concerning LentiGlobin on Monday at 8 a.m. ET.

Nierengarten said the recommended delay could hurt recruitment for the study, planned to enroll 15 children between the ages of 5 and 12 with beta thalassemia.

Latest Ratings for BLUE

Feb 2017Maxim GroupDowngradesBuyHold
Feb 2017Roth CapitalDowngradesBuyNeutral
Nov 2016BMO CapitalInitiates Coverage OnMarket Perform

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Posted-In: David M. Nierengarten WedbushAnalyst Color Health Care Analyst Ratings General


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