Bluebird bio

Based: Cambridge, MA
Stock symbol: BLUE
Range: $14 to $16
IPO price: $17
Close Oct. 17: $24.11
Change: Up 42%
Raised: $116 million

The scoop: Bluebird bio CEO Nick Leschly positioned the company at the intersection of two hot boulevards in biotech R&D: the reemergent gene therapy path and rare diseases. And despite the fact that the company was early on in the clinic, bluebird's IPO was a hit with investors who liked the idea that the company had mastered the technology and plans to prove it without lingering for years in long clinical trials. The biotech priced its IPO over its range in an early hit--hauling in $116 million--that helped set the pace for what's hot in IPOs this year. It helped considerably that the biotech is backed by Third Rock, which has deep pockets and a playful attraction for fast-paced development. It also helped that the ubiquitous Celgene ($CELG) stepped in to partner with bluebird on using gene therapy to fight cancer cells. And it's been prepping a Phase II/III study of a new therapy for childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy. Bluebird is a 2012 Fierce 15 company.

For more:
Special Report: 2012 Fierce 15 - bluebird bio
Bluebird IPO busts out, raises $101M as biotech offerings turn red hot
ViaCyte, bluebird score $19.4M in CA stem cell funds for game-changing therapies
bluebird adds $60M venture haul to fuel pivotal gene therapy study
bluebird's gene therapy song attracts $30M venture round

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