Gamida Cell, a Jerusalem, Israel-based developer of cellular and immune therapies for the treatment of cancer and orphan genetic diseases, is receiving up to an additional $15m in current and future equity.
Under the terms of the deal, Novartis will immediately invest $5m in Gamida Cell for an additional 2.5% equity interest in the company. This financing follows the initial August 2014 agreement under which Novartis invested $35m in return for a 15% equity interest in Gamida Cell. Additionally, subject to the close of an equity financing by the end of 2017 to fund the late stage development of NiCord, an experimental treatment for patients with high risk hematological malignancies (blood cancers), Novartis will invest up to another $10m as part of the equity raise, subject to certain conditions set forth in the agreement.
Led by president and CEO, Yael Margolin, Ph.D., Gamida Cell is advancing cellular and immune therapies for the treatment of cancer and orphan genetic diseases. The company’s pipeline of products are in development to treat a wide range of conditions including cancer, genetic hematological diseases such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia, genetic metabolic diseases, and refractory autoimmune diseases.
The company will use the funds to advance its clinical programs, including the development of NiCord. It plans to initiate a Phase III clinical trial with NiCord in mid-2016. NiCord is derived from a single cord blood unit, which is expanded and enriched with stem cells and immune modulatory cells, utilizing the company’s proprietary NAM technology.
Beyond Novartis, current shareholders include Elbit Imaging, Clal Biotechnology Industries, Israel Healthcare Venture, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Denali Ventures and Auriga Ventures.