Bluebird faces pricing setback in Germany

Published: 21 April 2021

Bluebird Bio will withdraw gene therapy Zynteglo from Germany after a breakdown in pricing negotiations.

Bluebird has failed to reach a reimbursement agreement with Germany authorities, the company has reported, and as a result is withdrawing Zynteglo for transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia (TDT) from the German market. “In Europe, reimbursement negotiations in Germany did not result in a price for ZYNTEGLO that reflects the value of this one-time gene therapy with potential life-long benefit for people living with TDT. The price proposed by the German health authorities fails to recognize the severe burden of living with TDT or the innovation and benefit ZYNTEGLO brings to patients who are impacted every day, throughout their lives by this severe genetic disease,” the company said in a statement.

In response to this and other business shifts, Bluebird has also decided to cut back on staff in Europe. “In terms of operations, we have faced challenges over the last year that have resulted in the difficult decision to reduce our workforce and say goodbye to some valued bluebirds,” commented Andrew Obenshain, Bluebird’s president of severe genetic diseases.

The company now plans to focus on “priority” European markets, and pricing negotiations with other EU countries are ongoing.