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bluebird bio and Gritstone Oncology Announce Strategic Collaboration to Develop Novel Cancer Cell Therapies

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bluebird
bio, Inc.
(NASDAQ:BLUE) and Gritstone
Oncology, Inc.
today announced a collaboration to research, develop
and commercialize products for the treatment of cancer using cell
therapy. Gritstone Oncology will leverage its proprietary EDGE™
artificial intelligence platform to analyze specific tumor types to
identify tumor-specific targets and natural T-cell receptors (TCRs)
directed to those targets for use in bluebird bio's established cell
therapy platforms. bluebird bio will conduct all development,
manufacturing and commercial activities. Gritstone Oncology will utilize
its proprietary technology platform to enable patient selection for
clinical development of such therapies.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180823005039/en/

"By combining our expertise in gene and cell therapy with Gritstone
Oncology's unique target identification and TCR technology, we hope to
bring the power of cell therapy to a broader set of newly-validated
targets, enabling us to treat previously unaddressable patient
populations," said Philip Gregory, D.Phil., chief scientific officer of
bluebird bio. "As we expand our immuno-oncology focus and portfolio,
this collaboration with Gritstone Oncology is highly complementary to
our goal of rapidly advancing novel cellular therapies with the
potential to transform the lives of people with cancer, particularly in
solid tumor indications."

"As the field of immuno-oncology has evolved, it has become clear that
targeting T-cell therapeutics to solid tumors in a highly specific
manner is vital to enable potent tumor cell killing with sparing of
normal tissues," said Andrew Allen, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief
executive officer of Gritstone Oncology. "We believe that our artificial
intelligence-based approach to identifying tumor-specific targets and
corresponding, naturally occurring TCRs, combined with bluebird bio's
expertise in gene and cell therapy, will allow us to develop cellular
immunotherapies against differentiated oncology targets. We look forward
to collaborating with the bluebird bio team in order to develop
innovative treatments for patients in need."

Under the terms of the agreement, Gritstone Oncology will provide 10
tumor-specific targets across several tumor types and, in certain cases,
TCRs directed to those targets to bluebird bio. Gritstone Oncology will
receive $20 million in an upfront payment and an additional $10 million
in the form of a Series C preferred equity investment. In addition,
Gritstone Oncology is eligible for significant development, regulatory
and commercial milestones on any therapies, and tiered royalties on
certain approved therapies.

About bluebird bio, Inc.
With its lentiviral-based gene
therapies, T cell immunotherapy expertise and gene editing
capabilities, bluebird bio has built a pipeline with broad potential
application in severe genetic diseases and cancer.

bluebird bio's gene therapy clinical programs include investigational
treatments for cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy, transfusion-dependent
β-thalassemia, also known as β-thalassemia major, and severe sickle cell
disease.

bluebird bio's oncology pipeline is built upon the company's lentiviral
gene delivery and T cell engineering, with a focus on developing novel T
cell-based immunotherapies, including chimeric antigen receptor (CAR T)
and T cell receptor (TCR) therapies. The company's lead oncology
programs are anti-BCMA CAR T programs partnered with Celgene.

bluebird bio's discovery research programs include utilizing
megaTAL/homing endonuclease gene editing technologies with the potential
for use across the company's pipeline.

bluebird bio has operations in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Seattle,
Washington; Durham, North Carolina and Zug, Switzerland.

About Gritstone Oncology, Inc.
Gritstone Oncology is
developing tumor-specific cancer immunotherapies to fight multiple
cancer types. The company has built its approach on two key
pillars—first, a proprietary machine learning-based platform, Gritstone
EDGE™, which provides the powerful ability to predict from a routine
tumor biopsy the tumor-specific neoantigens, or TSNA, that are presented
on a patient's tumor cells; and second, the ability to develop and
manufacture potent immunotherapies utilizing patients' TSNA to drive the
patient's immune system to attack and destroy tumors. Gritstone brings
together distinguished scientific founders, an experienced and diverse
management team, a seasoned and successful board of directors and deep
financial backing from Versant Ventures, The Column Group, Clarus Funds,
Frazier Healthcare Partners, Redmile Group, Casdin Capital, Lilly Asia
Ventures, Trinitas Capital, GV, Alexandria Venture Investments and Bay
City Capital. More information can be found at www.gritstone.com
or @gritstoneonc.

bluebird bio Forward-Looking Statements
This release
contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding
the research, development and advancement of bluebird bio's product
candidates and immuno-oncology research program, including its TCR
research program and those shared with Gritstone Oncology, the amounts
of milestone and royalties potentially payable to Gritstone Oncology,
and the benefits of each company's strategic plans and focus. Any
forward-looking statements are based on management's current
expectations of future events and are subject to a number of risks and
uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and
adversely from those set forth in or implied by such forward-looking
statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited
to, the risk that the research programs for these targets will be
unsuccessful and not identify any viable product candidates, the risk
that our collaboration with Gritstone Oncology will not continue or will
not be successful, the risk of cessation or delay of any planned
clinical studies and/or our development of our product candidates, and
the risk that any one or more of our product candidates will not be
successfully developed and commercialized. For a discussion of other
risks and uncertainties, and other important factors, any of which could
cause our actual results to differ from those contained in the
forward-looking statements, see the section entitled "Risk Factors" in
our most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q, as well as discussions of
potential risks, uncertainties, and other important factors in our
subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All
information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and
bluebird bio undertakes no duty to update this information unless
required by law.

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