Bluebird Bio Operating Expenses

Oct. 08, 2018 12:24 PM ETbluebird bio, Inc. (BLUE)
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Marty Chilberg is a seasoned financial professional with over 30 years of C-Suite, board, consulting and advisory experience. He began his career as a certified public accountant (CPA). He moved to Silicon Valley in 1981 to begin his career in the software industry, working for Atari, Daisy Systems, Symantec and Visio. He took Symantec and Visio through their initial public offerings as their Chief Accounting Officer and Chief Financial Officer, respectively. The past ten years have been focused on emerging macro investing themes including Cloud and Genomic Medicines.

Bluebird (BLUE) C14-C16 R&D Spend

R&D spending increase over two years was $142m or 227%.

  • $26m of increase in direct R&D was for manufacturing costs. $15m of increase in preclinical is for milestone payments ($10m CMO, $5m Pregenen).
  • LentiGlobin $46m: conducting 4 Northstar clinical studies (US, Australia and Thailand), Northstar-2 in France and US and planned Northstar-3 for 2017. TDT/SCD
  • Preclinical $26m (increase higher because C14 included bb2121) includes $15m milestone payment in preclinical. $10m for contract manufacturing contingent pay for Lenti-D and LentiGlobin.
  • Employees and SBC $26m
  • Facilities $15m
  • bb2121 $13m (was in preclinical in C14). Lead Celgene product oncology
  • Platform $10m gene therapy
  • Lenti-D increase $6m Starbeam clinical study CALD

G&A almost tripled from $23m to $65m primarily from hiring including SBC and consulting.

C15-C17 R&D Spend

R&D spending increase in C17 was $68m.

  • Direct program expenses made up $50m of increase including $18m for manufacturing.
  • LentiGlobin represented $18m and oncology programs bb2121/21217 increased about $20m
  • Preclinical spending increased $18m (bb21217 was preclinical in 2016).
  • Employee hiring represented the indirect spending increases.

G&A spending increase in C17 was almost $30m (43%). Most of this increase was employee related spending.

Quarterly operating expense summary

C18 quarterly spending notes:

  • Spending for 1Q18 increased $12M or 10% sequentially. Total employees increased from 479 to 518.
  • Spending for 2Q18 increased $24m or 18% sequentially. Headcount increased from 518 to 600. Increase split between R&D and G&A.
  • Hiring ramp does not appear over. Open requisitions per careers section of website indicates 122 jobs were open on Sept 30, 2018.
  • 2018 ramp appears to at least partially be related to preparation for commercialization.

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