TEL AVIV: Israel's Gamida Cell, which is developing cellular therapies to treat cancer and rare genetic diseases, said on Monday it raised US$40 million to finance the advanced trial of its product NiCord to facilitate bone marrow transplants.
The financing was led by new investor Shavit Capital. Additional participants include new investors VMS Investment Group, a Hong Kong-based investment group, and Israel Biotech Fund, as well as existing investor and major shareholder Novartis.
Shareholders Clal Biotechnology Industries and Israel HealthCare Ventures also participated. Clal said Gamida Cell, in which it will now hold an 18 percent stake, was valued at US$120 million prior to the funding round.
Gamida Cell plans to use the funds to complete NiCord's Phase 3 clinical trial, expand its manufacturing capacity and its presence in the United States, and continue to develop other products such as CordIn for rare genetic diseases and NK cells as a treatment for cancer.
Gamida Cell is enrolling patients in a Phase 3 study of NiCord, which is derived from umbilical cord blood, as a graft for bone marrow transplants for patients with blood cancer who do not have a rapidly available fully matched donor.
(Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Steven Scheer)