CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--bluebird bio, Inc. (Nasdaq:BLUE) announced Chip Baird will join the company effective today and assume the role of chief financial officer (CFO). Mr. Baird joins bluebird from Amicus Therapeutics, Inc., where he was the CFO for the past seven years and brings a demonstrated track record of successfully leading companies in all phases of discovery, development and commercialization. Jeff Walsh, who has held various roles over the last eight years at bluebird bio — including chief operating officer and, most recently, chief financial and strategy officer — will assume the new dedicated role of chief strategy officer to drive corporate development and the company’s overall growth strategy. In addition, Jason Cole, who has served as general counsel since 2014 and chief legal officer since 2016, will assume the new and expanded role of chief operating and legal officer overseeing both operations and legal functions for the company.
“Chip’s deep knowledge of our industry and expertise in managing financial and capital strategies are a strong addition to bluebird as we prepare for commercialization and the potential European launch of our first product in 2019,” said Nick Leschly, chief bluebird. “I’m excited to welcome Chip to bluebird, as he shares our commitment to patients, our people and our culture. His experience in U.S. and EU rare disease product launches, as well as in expansion of business operations into global markets, will be instrumental as we evolve to a multiproduct, global company over the next several years.”
“I am excited to join bluebird at such an important time in the company’s history with multiple potential product approvals on the horizon. The patient-focused mission, the extraordinary science and the bluebird culture made this a compelling opportunity,” said Mr. Baird. “I look forward to working with the team in a global commercial setting while continuing to invest in the science and the pipeline to deliver gene therapy to patients.”
Mr. Leschly added, “I want to thank Jeff for the strong foundation and financial position he’s put in place as our CFO, and I look forward to his continued partnership on advancing our growth strategies to ensure our existing and future potential products find their way to clinicians and patients globally. In addition, Jason’s leadership and track record of delivering results across many areas of our business make him ideally suited for a broader role inclusive of operations to help us scale across multiple product platforms and geographies.”
Chip Baird Biography
William D. “Chip” Baird has more than 20 years of financial and strategic planning experience in the biopharmaceutical sector. For the past seven years, Mr. Baird served as CFO of Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. During his tenure, Amicus transformed from a U.S.-based, single-product research and development (R&D) company to a global commercial company with a robust clinical pipeline. Prior to Amicus, Mr. Baird spent 10 years as CFO of PTC Therapeutics with responsibility for all areas of finance, investor and public relations, human resources, facilities and project management. During his tenure at Amicus and PTC, Mr. Baird secured more than $1.9 billion in growth capital through a variety of equity and debt instruments in the public and private markets as well as significant funding from collaborations with industry-leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Previously, Mr. Baird worked in the life science practice at L.E.K. Consulting, a strategy consulting firm, and began his career at First Union National Bank in corporate debt underwriting.
Mr. Baird currently serves as a director of Axcella Health. He received a BS from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and an MBA in finance from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
About bluebird bio, Inc.
bluebird bio is pioneering gene therapy with purpose. From our Cambridge, Mass., headquarters, we’re developing gene therapies for severe genetic diseases and cancer, with the goal that people facing potentially fatal conditions with limited treatment options can live their lives fully. Beyond our labs, we’re working to positively disrupt the healthcare system to create access, transparency and education so that gene therapy can become available to all those who can benefit.
bluebird bio is a human company powered by human stories. We’re putting our care and expertise to work across a spectrum of disorders by researching cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy, sickle cell disease, transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia and multiple myeloma using three gene therapy technologies: gene addition, cell therapy and (megaTAL-enabled) gene editing.
bluebird bio has additional nests in Seattle, Wash.; Durham, N.C.; and Zug, Switzerland. For more information, visit bluebirdbio.com.
This release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the advancement of, and anticipated development and commercialization plans for, the Company’s product candidates. 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 risks that the preliminary positive efficacy and safety results from our prior and ongoing clinical trials of our product candidates will not continue or be repeated in our ongoing or planned clinical trials; risks that the current or planned clinical trials of our product candidates will be insufficient to support future regulatory submissions or to support marketing approval in the U.S. and EU; and the risk that our product candidates will not be successfully developed, approved or 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 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.