bluebird bio plans ‘new nest’ around hybrid work model

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pic:getty/markogerber
Pic:getty/markogerber

Related tags: bluebird bio, Boston, Us

bluebird bio has signed a long-term lease for a 61,000 square foot facility at Assembly Row, Greater Boston: saying the new headquarters has been designed to reflect modern ways of working and deliver significant cost savings.

The facility, which will be located at 455 Grand Union Blvd. in Somerville, Greater Boston, has been designed to accommodate two key shifts for the business: firstly, its new dedicated focus on gene therapies after the spinoff of its oncology portfolio, and secondly, a hybrid model of working established over the pandemic.  

'Hybrid work is here to stay'

bluebird bio says the new facility is ‘designed to meet the changing needs of our business’, following the spinoff of its oncology portfolio​ announced in January and completed yesterday. The oncology programs and portfolio is now an independent, publicly-traded company called 2seventybio, Inc. 

2seventy begins regular-way trading on the NASDAQ under the stock ticker symbol 'TSVT'  today (Nov 5). bluebird bio will continue to trade under the stock ticker symbol 'BLUE'.

bluebird bio also declares that ‘hybrid work is here to stay’: with the facility accommodating this new workmodel.

The company expects to move approximately 425 employees to its new headquarters in spring of 2022, maintaining laboratory space and operations at 60 Binney St. in Cambridge through 2023.

bluebird estimates the move to Assembly Row will result in more than $120m in cumulative cost savings over the next six years.

“Over the past 18 months, we have transformed the way we work and live as we’ve navigated through the COVID-19 pandemic and re-established ourselves as a company focused on pursuing curative gene therapies for severe genetic disease,”​ said Jason Cole, chief business officer, bluebird bio.

“Savings from our real estate footprint support our focus on increased fiscal discipline and investment in our core programs and pipeline. We are excited to migrate to our new nest at Assembly Row and to work with Federal Realty to design a space that allows us to work smarter and meet the changing needs of our business and expectations of our birds – now and in the future.”

The new facility in Somerville offers easy access to the MBTA Orange Line (Assembly stop) and offers multiple amenities, including a state-of-the-art fitness center, an on-location kids’ room and ample bike storage, in addition to Assembly Row’s large array of dining, shopping, entertainment and health and wellness benefits. The building was designed in accordance with LEED Gold Core & Shell and is currently pursuing certification.

Founded in 2010, bluebird bio is currently working towards the anticipated launch of three therapies for patients with sickle cell disease, β-thalassemia and cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy. 

In September 2021, bluebird announced that it had submitted a biologics licensing application to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for betibeglogene autotemcel (beti-cel) for patients with β-thalassemia who require regular red blood cell transfusions. The BLA filing for elivaldogene autotemcel (eli-cel, Lenti-D) for patients with cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (CALD) is on track for the end of 2021.

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