Gamida Cell, a world leader in stem cell expansion technologies and therapeutic products, recently announced a $35 million investment and option agreement with Novartis Pharma AG that could advance development of stem cell therapy treatments for blood cancers, solid tumors, non-malignant hematological diseases, autoimmune diseases and genetic metabolic diseases.
According to the agreement, Novartis will invest $35 million in Gamida Cell and in return will receive 15 percent equity and an option to fully acquire Gamida Cell. The option is exercisable for a limited period of time following achievement of certain milestones connected to the development of NiCord, as an investigational therapeutic treatment for hematological malignancies such as leukemia and lymphoma.
“The investment and option agreement announced today demonstrates Novartis’ belief in the potential of Gamida Cell’s platform technology, product pipeline and team. Novartis is a leading pharmaceutical company with a declared commitment to further expand and develop its pipeline of cell therapy products. This, combined with the breadth of its resources and experience, positions Novartis perfectly for an alliance with Gamida Cell,” said Gamida Cell president and CEO Dr. Yael Margolin.
Gamida Cell is currently engaged in a Phase I/II study of NiCord as an investigational therapeutic treatment for hematological malignancies such as leukemia and lymphoma. In this study NiCord® is being used as the sole stem cell source. NiCord is derived from a single cord blood unit and expanded and enriched with stem cells using Gamida Cell’s proprietary NAM technology.
“Every company experiences successes and challenges during the course of its evolution. It is the ones with particularly brilliant scientists and astute management teams that are able to successfully persevere to bring good products to the market. We believe that Gamida Cell is in this category. The investment and option agreement with Novartis could bring the company a significant step closer to this important goal,” said Gamida Cell chairman of the board and Clal Biotechnology Industries’ CEO Mr. Ruben Krupik.