Jerusalem-based stem cell therapy start-up Gamida Cell has launched a feasibility study to evaluate the preclinical (animal study) safety and efficacy of a gene therapy product which may have potential to treat congenital anemias such as Cooley’s Anemia.

The product combines technology from both Weill Cornell Medical College and Gamida Cell. Weill Cornell is seeking to develop a cure for beta-thalassemia, generally known as Cooley’s anemia, and sickle cell anemia, the most common inherited anemias.

Gamida Cell’s lead product, StemEx, based on adult stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood, is used today as an experimental treatment for blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma. StemEx has been granted orphan drug status in the US and Europe.

Gamida Cell’s investors include Teva, Elbit Imaging, Biomedical Investment, Israel Healthcare Ventures, Amgen, Denali Ventures and Auriga Ventures.