Clal Biotechnology Industries Ltd. (TASE: CBI) and Elbit Medical Technologies (TASE: EMTC) have announced that Gamida Cell, their joint subsidiary, had submitted a prospectus to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an IPO on Nasdaq. Gamida Cell previously announced its intention of holding an IPO this year, but the plan is now being officially implemented. The prospectus is still confidential, and Gamida Cell's controlling shareholders said that it is still possible that the plan will not go through, but after several months during which Gamida Cell assessed the US capital market and considered its options, it appears that the decision is coming at the right time for an IPO. It is believed that Gamida Cell will seek to raise $50-75 million at a company value of $300 million, before money.
Gamida Cell is developing stem cell-based products. Its first product, NiCord, designed for treatment of blood cancer, has successfully passed Phase I/II clinical trials, in which it was found to improve the speed at which implants are absorbed by patients whose immune systems have been destroyed and reconstructed through implants cells generated by umbilical cord blood. Besides Clal Biotechnology and Elbit Medical, each of which has an 18% stake in Gamida Cell, the other shareholders include drug company Novartis (10%), which previous considering acquiring Gamida Cell, but has meanwhile retained its stake in the company; the IBF venture capital fund; and the Shavit Capital fund, which invests in Israeli pre-IPO life sciences companies. Hong Kong fund VMS also took part in Gamida Cell's most recent financing round.
Gamida Cell has raised over $100 million to date. Its most recent financing round was in June 2017, when it raised $40 million at a company value of $150 million.
Implants in adults
Gamida Cell has developed a unique stem cell technology that makes it possible to multiply stem cells and improve their density in cell units without detracting from their characteristics. Current treatment for blood cancer can destroy the patient's immune system, which is then reconstructed through what is known to the public as bone marrow transplants. These consist of stem cells developing for a new immune system for the patient. The quantity of stem cells in an umbilical blood unit is currently suitable only for treatment of children or adults weighing up to 45 kilograms, because stem cell density in each unit is too low for a normal adult. Adult patients therefore search for a bone marrow donation from an adult donor, rather than from umbilical cord blood. Frequently, however, no such donation is found.
Gamida Cell's technology is also suitable and is being tested for treatment of genetic diseases of the blood system, such as sickle cell anemia, and can also be appropriate for multiplying cells in other areas, such as improvement of a new cell therapy technology for treatment of cancer - CAR-T.
Gamida Cell is managed by CEO Dr. Julian Adams, a member of a wealthy Canadian real estate family. Adams has brought a number of drugs to market, including Velcade, a bestseller cancer drug.
Field of business: Stem cell-based drugs for treatment of cancer and genetic diseases
CEO: Dr. Julian Adams
Most recent financing round: $40 million at a $150 million company value.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 2, 2018
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