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Bluebird Bio, a gene therapy company based in Cambridge, Mass., has acquired Precision Genome Engineering (Pregenen). Bluebird paid about $16 million in stock and assumed about $5 million in debt to buy the Seattle-based firm. It could pay up to another $135 million if therapies identified through Pregenen’s technology meet development milestones. Pregenen uses DNA-cleaving homing endonucleases and related enzymes for gene editing and targeted modification of cells for therapeutic purposes. Bluebird focuses on severe genetic and orphan diseases; it has two clinical-stage programs under way.
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