Israeli stem cell developer Gamida Cell, controlled by Clal Biotechnology Industries Ltd. (TASE: CBI) and Elbit Medical Technologies Ltd. (TASE:EMTC), today published positive results in its Phase I/II trial of NiCord, the company's leading drug, for treatment of Sickle-Cell Disease (SCD). At the same time, the company also reported that it had obtained approval for a Phase III trial of NiCord for treatment of blood cancer.
All of the surviving patients in the trial were free of SCD symptoms. Gamida Cell CEO Dr. Yael Margolin said, "… the data… (indicate) that NiCord enables more patients to receive a potentially curative treatments for SCD."
Gamida Cell estimated that it would take two years to recruit patients for the Phase III NiCord trial for the treatment of blood cancer (compared with six years for a Phase III trial of another drug, since abandoned, for the treatment of blood cancer).
The Phase III trials will be conducted on 120 patients in the US and Europe. It will compare patients treated with umbilical cord blood who have undergone the company's procedure with those treated with umbilical cord blood who have not. The main goal of the trial is to demonstrate a shortening of the time needed to absorb the desirable cells in the patients' body.
The Phase I/II trial of NiCord for treatment of SCD included nine patients. The implant was absorbed in all of them. Two of the trial patients died from complications resulting from the implant, while the other seven no longer suffer from the disease. Despite the death of two patients, these results are considered better than for the existing treatment for SCD.
The Clal Biotechnology share price rose 1.58% on the news, giving the company a NIS 362 million market cap. The Elbit Medical share price was up 1%, increasing the company's market cap to NIS 170 million.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 6, 2016
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