Shares of bluebird bio Inc (NASDAQ:BLUE), a clinical-stage biotech focused on gene editing, rose as much as 10% in afternoon trading on Monday.
There doesn't appear to be any particular news item that can help to explain the move. The only press release to come out of the company today was to announce that it would release interim data from its phase 1 study of bb2121 on Dec. 1. This is Bluebird's CAR-T product candidate that is being studied as a treatment for multiple myeloma. While this is certainly an exciting program to follow, it is unlikely that the announcement of an upcoming presentation would cause the stock to move so much.
What's more likely is that Bluebird's stock simply continues to bounce around erratically ahead of the upcoming American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting in December. During the meeting, the company will share more details about how its product candidate Lentiglobin is performing in clinical trials as a treatment of beta-thalassemia and sickle cell anemia.
The company already released abstracts for the meeting a few weeks ago. Shares dropped when investors got their first look at the data, as it suggested that Lentiglobin might not be the cure for sickle-cell disease that many had hoped for. However, that news hasn't prevented shareholders from enjoying huge gains over the last two weeks. Like most of the biotech sector, Bluebird's stock has rallied sharply in response to the surprise election of Donald Trump.
Even though Bluebird will be reporting disappointing data at the upcoming ASH meeting, investors should take the news with a grain of sugar. That's because the data being discussed is based on the company's older manufacturing process, which has since been updated in an effort to improve the therapy's clinical performance.
While Bluebird's stock will likely to continue to swing wildly in the weeks ahead, what really matters in the long term is how well this new manufacturing technique performs in the clinic. Investors will have quite a bit of waiting to do before they know that answer, so shareholders should continue to prepare themselves for volatility ahead.