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BLUE > SEC Filings for BLUE > Form 10-K on 5-Mar-2014All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for BLUEBIRD BIO, INC.

Form 10-K for BLUEBIRD BIO, INC.


Annual Report

Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following information should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K

Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this Annual Report on Form 10-K may be deemed to be forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. We make such forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other federal securities laws. In this Annual Report on Form 10-K, words such as "may," "will," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," and similar expressions (as well as other words or expressions referencing future events, conditions or circumstances) are intended to identify forward-looking statements.

Our actual results and the timing of certain events may differ materially from the results discussed, projected, anticipated, or indicated in any forward-looking statements. We caution you that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and that our actual results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industry in which we operate may differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report. In addition, even if our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industry in which we operate are consistent with the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report, they may not be predictive of results or developments in future periods.

The following information and any forward-looking statements should be considered in light of factors discussed elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including those risks identified under Item 1A. Risk Factors.

We caution readers not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements made by us, which speak only as of the date they are made. We disclaim any obligation, except as specifically required by law and the rules of the SEC, to publicly update or revise any such statements to reflect any change in our expectations or in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements may be based, or that may affect the likelihood that actual results will differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.


We are a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on transforming the lives of patients with severe genetic and orphan diseases using gene therapy. We believe that gene therapy has the potential to change the way these patients are treated by correcting the underlying genetic defect that is the cause of their disease, rather than offering solutions that only address their symptoms. We and our scientific collaborators have generated what we believe is human proof-of-concept data for our gene therapy platform in two underserved diseases, each of which has been granted orphan drug status by U.S. and European regulatory authorities. We are conducting a Phase II/III clinical study of our most advanced product candidate, Lenti-D, to evaluate its safety and efficacy in subjects with childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy, or CCALD, a rare, hereditary neurological disorder

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affecting young boys that is often fatal. We also are conducting Phase I/II clinical studies in both the United States and Europe of our next most advanced product candidate, LentiGlobin, to evaluate its safety and efficacy in subjects with -thalassemia major and, in the European clinical study, sickle cell disease, or SCD, which are hereditary blood disorders that often lead to severe anemia and shortened lifespans.

Since our inception in 1992, we have devoted substantially all of our resources to our development efforts relating to our product candidates, including activities to manufacture product in compliance with good manufacturing practices, or GMP, preparing to conduct clinical studies of our product candidates, providing general and administrative support for these operations and protecting our intellectual property. We do not have any products approved for sale and have not generated any revenue from product sales. We have funded our operations primarily through the private placement of preferred stock, common stock, convertible notes and warrants to purchase common stock.

In March 2013, we entered into a strategic collaboration with Celgene Corporation, or Celgene, to discover, develop and commercialize novel, disease-altering gene therapies in oncology. This collaboration has an initial term of three years, and Celgene has made a $75.0 million up-front, non-refundable cash payment to us as consideration for entering into the collaboration. During the year ended December 31, 2013, we recognized $19.8 million of revenue associated with our collaboration with Celgene related to the research and development services performed.

On June 3, 2013, our board of directors and our stockholders approved a one-for-18.967 reverse stock split of our outstanding common stock, which was effected on June 3, 2013. Our historical share and per share information have been retroactively adjusted to give effect to this reverse stock split. Shares of common stock underlying outstanding stock options and other equity instruments were proportionately reduced and the respective exercise prices, if applicable, were proportionately increased in accordance with the terms of the agreements governing such securities.

On June 24, 2013, we completed our initial public offering, or IPO, whereby we sold 6,832,352 shares of common stock (inclusive of 891,176 shares of common stock sold by us pursuant to the full exercise of an overallotment option granted to the underwriters in connection with the offering) at a price of $17.00 per share. The shares began trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on June 19, 2013. The aggregate net proceeds received by us from the IPO were $104.9 million, net of underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. Upon the closing of the IPO, all outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock converted into 16,388,510 shares of common stock; and warrants exercisable for convertible preferred stock were automatically converted into warrants exercisable for 337,952 shares of common stock, resulting in the reclassification of the related convertible preferred stock warrant liability of approximately $0.7 million to additional paid-in capital. Additionally, we are now authorized to issue 125,000,000 shares of common stock and 5,000,000 shares of preferred stock.

We have never been profitable and have incurred net losses in each year since inception. Our net loss was $25.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2013, and our accumulated deficit was $98.7 million as of December 31, 2013. Substantially all our net losses resulted from costs incurred in connection with our research and development programs and from general and administrative costs associated with our operations. We expect to continue to incur significant expenses and increasing operating losses for at least the next several years. We expect our expenses will increase substantially in connection with our ongoing and planned activities, as we:

conduct clinical studies for our Lenti-D and LentiGlobin product candidates;

continue our research and development efforts;

increase research and development related activities for the discovery and development of oncology product candidates in connection with our strategic collaboration with Celgene;

manufacture clinical study materials and develop large-scale manufacturing capabilities;

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seek regulatory approval for our product candidates;

add personnel to support our product development and commercialization efforts; and

operate as a public company.

We do not expect to generate revenue from product sales unless and until we successfully complete development and obtain regulatory approval for one or more of our product candidates, which we expect will take a number of years and is subject to significant uncertainty. We have no commercial-scale manufacturing facilities, and all of our manufacturing activities are contracted out to third parties. Additionally, we currently utilize third-party contract research organizations, or CROs, to carry out our clinical development activities; and we do not yet have a sales organization. If we obtain regulatory approval for any of our product candidates, we expect to incur significant commercialization expenses related to product sales, marketing, manufacturing, and distribution. Accordingly, we will seek to fund our operations through public or private equity or debt financings or other sources. However, we may be unable to raise additional funds or enter into such other arrangements when needed on favorable terms or at all. Our failure to raise capital or enter into such other arrangements as and when needed would have a negative impact on our financial condition and our ability to develop our products.

Financial operations overview


To date, we have not generated any revenues from the sale of products. Our revenues have been derived from collaboration arrangements, research fees, license fees, and grant revenues.

Collaboration revenue is generated exclusively from our collaboration arrangement with Celgene. The terms of this arrangement contain multiple deliverables, which include at inception: (i) discovery, research and development services, (ii) participation on the joint steering committee and
(iii) participation on the patent committee. We recognize arrangement consideration allocated to each unit of accounting when all of the revenue recognition criteria in Financial Accounting Standards Board, or FASB, Accounting Standards Codification, or ASC, Topic 605, Revenue Recognition, or ASC 605, are satisfied for that particular unit of accounting.

Revenue from the Celgene arrangement associated with discovery, research and development services, joint steering committee services and patent committee services is recognized ratably over the associated period of performance, which is initially three years.

Research and license fee revenue is primarily generated through license and research and development agreements with strategic partners and nonprofit organizations for the development and commercialization of our product candidates. There are no performance, cancellation, termination, or refund provisions in any of our arrangements that contain material financial consequences to us.

Nonrefundable license fees are recognized as revenue upon delivery provided there are no undelivered elements in the arrangement. Research fees are recognized as revenue over the period we perform the associated services or on a straight-line basis if the pattern of performance cannot be estimated.

Our ability to generate product revenue and become profitable depends upon our ability to successfully commercialize products. We expect to incur losses for the foreseeable future, and we expect these losses to increase as we continue our development of, and seek regulatory approvals for, our product candidates and begin to commercialize any approved products. Because of the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with product development, we are unable to predict the timing or amount of increased expenses or when or if we will be able to achieve or maintain profitability. Even if we are able to generate revenues from the sale of our products, we may not become profitable. If we fail to become profitable or are unable to sustain profitability on a continuing basis, then we may be unable to continue our operations at planned levels and be forced to reduce our operations.

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Research and development expenses

Research and development expenses consist primarily of costs incurred for the development of our product candidates, which include:

employee-related expenses, including salaries, benefits, travel and stock-based compensation expense;

expenses incurred under agreements with CROs and investigative sites that will conduct our clinical studies;

costs of acquiring, developing, and manufacturing clinical study materials;

facilities, depreciation, and other expenses, which include direct and allocated expenses for rent and maintenance of facilities, insurance, and other supplies; and

costs associated with preclinical activities and regulatory operations.

Research and development costs are expensed as incurred. Costs for certain development activities are recognized based on an evaluation of the progress to completion of specific tasks using information and data provided to us by our vendors and our clinical sites. We cannot determine with certainty the duration and completion costs of the current or future clinical studies of our product candidates or if, when, or to what extent we will generate revenues from the commercialization and sale of any of our product candidates that obtain regulatory approval. We may never succeed in achieving regulatory approval for any of our product candidates. The duration, costs, and timing of clinical studies and development of our product candidates will depend on a variety of factors, including:

the scope, rate of progress, and expense of our ongoing as well as any additional clinical studies and other research and development activities;

future clinical study results;

uncertainties in clinical study enrollment rate;

significant and changing government regulation; and

the timing and receipt of any regulatory approvals.

A change in the outcome of any of these variables with respect to the development of a product candidate could mean a significant change in the costs and timing associated with the development of that product candidate. For example, if the FDA, or another regulatory authority were to require us to conduct clinical studies beyond those that we currently anticipate will be required for the completion of clinical development of a product candidate or if we experience significant delays in enrollment in any of our clinical studies, we could be required to expend significant additional financial resources and time on the completion of clinical development.

From inception through December 31, 2013, we have incurred $95.5 million in research and development expenses. We plan to increase our research and development expenses for the foreseeable future as we continue the development of our Lenti-D and LentiGlobin product candidates and conduct research and development activities under our strategic collaboration with Celgene. Our research and development activities include the following:

We are conducting a Phase II/III clinical study to examine the feasibility, safety and efficacy of our Lenti-D product candidate in the treatment of CCALD. In October 2013, we announced that the first subject had been treated in this study.

We are conducting a Phase I/II clinical study in France to study the feasibility, safety and efficacy of our LentiGlobin product candidate in the treatment of subjects with -thalassemia major and severe SCD. In December 2013, we announced that the first subject had been treated in this study.

We are conducting a Phase I/II clinical study in the United States to study the feasibility, safety and efficacy of our LentiGlobin product candidate in the treatment of subjects with -thalassemia major.

We will continue to manufacture clinical study materials in support of our clinical studies.

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Our direct research and development expenses consist principally of external costs, such as start-up fees paid to investigators, consultants, central laboratories and CROs in connection with our clinical studies, and costs related to acquiring and manufacturing clinical study materials. We do not allocate personnel-related costs, costs associated with our general platform improvements, depreciation or other indirect costs to specific programs, as they are deployed across multiple projects under development and, as such, are separately classified as personnel and other expenses in the table below:

                                                         Year ended December 31,
                                                      2013         2012         2011
                                                              (in thousands)
   Lenti-D                                          $  4,396     $  3,966     $  2,900
   LentiGlobin                                         8,490        5,259        1,416
   Pre-clinical programs                                 783           -            -

   Total direct research and development expenses     13,669        9,225        4,316
   Employee- and contractor-related expenses          12,961        6,150        5,090
   Platform-related lab expenses                       1,067          727          717
   Facility expenses                                   2,288          709          619
   Other expenses                                      1,017          399          667

   Personnel and other expenses                       17,333        7,985        7,093

   Total research and development expenses          $ 31,002     $ 17,210     $ 11,409

General and administrative expenses

General and administrative expenses consist primarily of salaries and related costs for personnel, including stock-based compensation and travel expenses for our employees in executive, operational, finance and human resource functions. Other general and administrative expenses include facility-related costs and professional fees for directors, accounting and legal services and expenses associated with obtaining and maintaining patents.

We anticipate that our general and administrative expenses will increase in the future as we increase our headcount to support our continued research and development and potential commercialization of our product candidates. We also anticipate increased expenses related to audit, legal, regulatory, and tax-related services associated with maintaining compliance with exchange listing and SEC requirements, director and officer insurance premiums, and investor relations costs associated with being a public company. Additionally, if and when we believe a regulatory approval of the first product candidate appears likely, we anticipate an increase in payroll and related expenses as a result of our preparation for commercial operations, especially as it relates to the sales and marketing of our product candidates.

Other income (expense), net

Other income and expense consists primarily of interest income earned on cash and cash equivalents, the re-measurement gain or loss associated with the change in the fair value of the preferred stock warrant liability, and foreign currency gain or loss. We use the Black-Scholes option pricing model to estimate the fair value of the warrants.

We base the estimates in the Black-Scholes option pricing model, in part, on subjective assumptions, including stock price volatility, risk-free interest rate, dividend yield, and the fair value of the preferred stock underlying the warrants. The re-measurement gain or loss associated with the change in the fair value of the preferred stock warrant liability each reporting period prior to becoming a public company is recognized as a component of other income (expense), net.

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Critical accounting policies and significant judgments and estimates

Our management's discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations are based on our financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, and expenses and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities in our financial statements. On an ongoing basis, we evaluate our estimates and judgments, including those related to accrued expenses and stock-based compensation. We base our estimates on historical experience, known trends and events, and various other factors that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.

While our significant accounting policies are described in more detail in the notes to our financial statements appearing elsewhere in this annual report, we believe the following accounting policies to be most critical to the judgments and estimates used in the preparation of our financial statements.

Revenue recognition

We have primarily generated revenue through collaboration arrangements, research arrangements and license arrangements with strategic partners and nonprofit organizations for the development and commercialization of product candidates. Additionally, we have generated revenue from research and development grant programs.

We recognize revenue in accordance with ASC 605. Accordingly, revenue is recognized for each unit of accounting when all of the following criteria are met:

Persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists

Delivery has occurred or services have been rendered

The seller's price to the buyer is fixed or determinable

Collectability is reasonably assured

Amounts received prior to satisfying the revenue recognition criteria are recorded as deferred revenue in our consolidated balance sheets. Amounts expected to be recognized as revenue within the 12 months following the balance sheet date are classified as deferred revenue, current portion. Amounts not expected to be recognized as revenue within the 12 months following the balance sheet date are classified as deferred revenue, net of current portion.

Collaboration revenue

As of December 31, 2013, our collaboration revenue was generated exclusively from our collaboration arrangement with Celgene. The terms of this arrangement contains multiple deliverables, which include at inception: (i) discovery, research and development services, (ii) participation on the joint steering committee and (iii) participation on the patent committee. The collaboration arrangement also provides Celgene with the option to obtain a license to any product candidates resulting from the collaboration. Moreover, Celgene has the option to extend the term of the collaboration arrangement, first for a period of two years and then for an additional period of one year. Additionally, we have the sole right to manufacture or have manufactured supplies of vectors and associated payloads manufactured for incorporation into the associated product candidate in the event a product candidate is licensed. Non-refundable payments to us under this arrangement may include: (i) up-front research fees,
(ii) product candidate license fees, (iii) extension term research fees,
(iv) payments for the manufacture and supply of vectors and payloads,
(v) payments based on the achievement of certain milestones

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and (vi) royalties on product sales. Additionally, we may elect to share in the costs incurred from the development, commercialization and manufacture of product candidates licensed by our collaborators and earn our share of the net profits or bear our share of the net losses generated from the sale of product candidates licensed by our collaborators.

We analyze multiple-element arrangements based on the guidance in FASB ASC Topic 605-25, Revenue Recognition-Multiple-Element Arrangements, or ASC 605-25. Pursuant to the guidance in ASC 605-25, we evaluate multiple-element arrangements to determine (1) the deliverables included in the arrangement and
(2) whether the individual deliverables represent separate units of accounting or whether they must be accounted for as a combined unit of accounting. This evaluation involves subjective determinations and requires us to make judgments about the individual deliverables and whether such deliverables are separable from the other aspects of the contractual relationship. Deliverables are considered separate units of accounting provided that: (i) the delivered item(s) has value to the customer on a standalone basis and (ii) if the arrangement includes a general right of return relative to the delivered item(s), delivery or performance of the undelivered item(s) is considered probable and substantially in our control. In assessing whether an item has standalone value, we consider factors such as the research, manufacturing and commercialization capabilities of the collaboration partner and the availability of the associated expertise in the general marketplace. In addition, we consider whether the collaboration partner can use the other deliverable(s) for their intended purpose without the receipt of the remaining element(s), whether the value of the deliverable is dependent on the undelivered item(s) and whether there are other vendors that can provide the undelivered element(s). The collaboration arrangement does not contain a general right of return relative to the delivered item(s).

Arrangement consideration that is fixed or determinable is allocated among the separate units of accounting using the relative selling price method. Then, the applicable revenue recognition criteria in ASC 605 are applied to each of the separate units of accounting in determining the appropriate period and pattern of recognition. We determine the selling price of a unit of accounting following the hierarchy of evidence prescribed by ASC 605-25. Accordingly, we determine the estimated selling price for units of accounting within each arrangement using vendor-specific objective evidence, or VSOE, of selling price, if available, third-party evidence, or TPE, of selling price if VSOE is not available, or best estimate of selling price, or BESP, if neither VSOE nor TPE is available. We typically use BESP to estimate the selling price, since we generally do not have VSOE or TPE of selling price for our units of accounting. Determining the BESP for a unit of accounting requires significant judgment. In developing the BESP for a unit of accounting, we consider applicable market conditions and relevant entity-specific factors, including factors that were contemplated in negotiating the agreement with the customer and estimated costs. We validate the BESP for units of accounting by evaluating whether changes in the key assumptions used to determine the BESP will have a significant effect on the allocation of arrangement consideration between multiple units of accounting.

Options are considered substantive if, at the inception of the arrangement, we are at risk as to whether the collaboration partner will choose to exercise the option. Factors that we consider in evaluating whether an option is substantive include the overall objective of the arrangement, the benefit the collaborator might obtain from the arrangement without exercising the option, the cost to exercise the option and the likelihood that the option will be exercised. For arrangements under which an option is considered substantive, we do not consider the item underlying the option to be a deliverable at the inception of the arrangement and the associated option fees are not included in allocable arrangement consideration, assuming the option is not priced at a significant . . .

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