John Maraganore, Ph.D., Joins the bluebird bio Board of Directors

bluebird bio, a world leader in the development of innovative gene therapies for severe genetic disorders, today announced that John Maraganore, Ph.D., has joined the company’s board of directors. Dr. Maraganore has more than 25 years of experience in research and development and is the chief executive officer of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, a leader in RNAi therapeutics.

“We welcome John’s extensive biotech experience during this pivotal time in the company’s growth and development,” said Nick Leschly, chief executive officer of bluebird bio. “John’s broad strategic, finance and deal-making experience will be invaluable as we build upon our late stage clinical programs and advance our corporate development strategy.”

Prior to joining Alnylam in 2002, Dr. Maraganore served as an officer and a member of the management team for Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. As senior vice president, strategic product development for Millennium, Dr. Maraganore was responsible for the company's product franchises in oncology, cardiovascular, inflammation and metabolic diseases. He was previously vice president, strategic planning and M&A, and prior to that, he was general manager of Millennium BioTherapeutics, Inc., a former subsidiary of Millennium. Before Millennium, he served as director of molecular biology and director of market and business development at Biogen, Inc. (now Biogen Idec, Inc.). At Biogen, Dr. Maraganore invented and led the discovery and development of Angiomax™ (bivalirudin for injection, formerly Hirulog™), currently marketed by The Medicines Company. Prior to Biogen, Dr. Maraganore was a scientist at ZymoGenetics, Inc., and The Upjohn Company. Dr. Maraganore received his M.S. and Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Chicago. He is chairman of Regulus Therapeutics, LLC, and a director for Agios Pharmaceuticals and Tempero Pharmaceuticals. In addition, he is an advisor to Third Rock Ventures, a member of the Immunology Advisory Council of Harvard Medical School and a member of the Biotechnology Industry Organization Board.

“I am excited to join bluebird bio’s board and work with their expert team to capitalize on the significant recent advances they have made with the company’s scientific platform, manufacturing capabilities and lead clinical development programs,” said Dr. Maraganore. “Gene therapy has the potential to become a key new therapeutic modality, and the clinical data continue to be very impressive. My sense is that bluebird bio is uniquely positioned to meet the significant treatment void for many patients with devastating diseases in a way that can be truly transformative and commercially deployable.”

About bluebird bio

bluebird bio is developing innovative gene therapies for severe genetic disorders. At the heart of bluebird bio’s product creation efforts is its broadly applicable gene therapy platform for the development of novel treatments for diseases with few or no clinical options. The company’s novel approach uses stem cells harvested from the patient’s bone marrow into which a healthy version of the disease-causing gene is inserted. bluebird bio’s approach represents a true paradigm shift in the treatment of severe genetic diseases by eliminating the potential complications associated with donor cell transplantation and presenting a one-time potentially transformative therapy. bluebird bio has two later stage clinical products in development for childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (CCALD) and beta-thalassemia/sickle cell anemia. Led by a world-class team, bluebird bio is privately held and backed by top-tier life sciences investors, including Third Rock Ventures, TVM Capital, ARCH Venture Partners, Forbion Capital Partners, Easton Capital and Genzyme Ventures. Its operations are located in Cambridge, Mass. and Paris, France. For more information, please visit


Pure Communications, Inc.
Dan Budwick, 973-271-6085

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