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t’s been two years since disappointing clinical trial results raised questions of whether Bluebird Bio (BLUE) was capable of developing a one-shot gene therapy cure for sickle cell disease. On Wednesday, the biotech disclosed the first preliminary data suggesting a significant obstacle may have been cleared.

The new data show that Bluebird has been able to increase the number of gene-corrected cells taking hold in the bone marrow of sickle cell patients by improving the manufacturing process for its gene therapy, known as LentiGlobin. That suggests the patients may be able to produce more normal red blood cells, rather than damaged, sickled cells.

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