Bluebird bio appoints new CFO to oversee financial restatements

By Thomson Reuters May 29, 2024 | 7:56 AM

(Reuters) – Gene therapy maker bluebird bio on Wednesday named former Renalytix finance chief James Sterling as its CFO to oversee the revision of the company’s financial statements.

Sterling will take over on June 10 from incumbent Chris Krawtschuk, who was in the role from November 2022.

The company announced its plans to revise its financial statements in March, citing “material weakness in its internal control over financial reporting”.

It planned to restate its financials for 2022 and the first three quarters of last year due to accounting errors related to some contract manufacturing agreements.

The company has contract manufacturing agreements with Thermo Fisher Scientific and Lonza, among others, according to its annual report released last year.

Bluebird makes three gene therapies, including sickle cell disease treatment Lyfgenia. The therapy was approved last year and is expected to generate revenue from the third quarter.

The company posted total revenues of $29.5 million for 2023, a jump from $3.6 million a year earlier, but much lower than analysts’ average estimate of $40.6 million, according to LSEG estimates.

The company had flagged ‘going concern’ doubts last year due to insufficient cash reserves to run operations.

As of March 31, bluebird had cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash balance of about $264 million.

Shares of Massachusetts-based bluebird fell 1% to 93 cents in premarket trading.

(Reporting by Mariam Sunny in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Shailesh Kuber)