DURHAM – For the purpose of forming a strategic alliance to accelerate research, development, and delivery of cell therapies, bluebird bio plans to sell its 125,000 square foot facility in Durham to National Resilience, Inc., for $110 million, according to a statement from the company.

The new owner of the facility, which is currently manufacturing lentiviral vector (LVV), a component of cell and gene therapies, and includes drug substance and drug product production suites, testing laboratories, and warehousing space.

Resilience will retain all of the technical staff at the facility, and its administrators.  More than 100 employees work at the facility, bluebird said in a statement.

bluebird bio opens manufacturing facility in Durham, looks to add 20 workers in ’19


In 2019, the company opened and dedicated the 125,000-square-foot facility in Durham to produce lentiviral vector for investigational gene and cell therapies. The facility is large enough to accommodate “significant future expansion,” including the possibility of manufacturing commercial drug product, the company said at the time.

The company received an Economic Development Award from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center tied to meeting job-creation targets in North Carolina and is also receiving bioscience-specific employee training support from the N.C. Community College System.

“We believe Resilience is an optimal partner to help us achieve this mission as well as the ideal successor for the next phase of the bRT facility’s growth,” said Nick Leschly, chief bluebird.  “As we continue to pivot toward the planned separation of bluebird and 2seventy, this strategic partnership allows us to share risk, streamline our business operations, provide additional capital and importantly ensures uninterrupted access to vector supply as we develop additional transformative treatments.”

The closing of the transaction will be subject to the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, the negotiation of certain definitive agreements and other customary closing conditions, the companies noted in a statement.

bluebird is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachussets.  The company resumed two clinical trials in June after clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.