(Reuters) – Swiss drugmaker Novartis will invest up to an extra $15 million in Gamida Cell, an Israeli developer of stem cell therapies, Gamida said on Sunday.
Novartis last year invested $35 million in the company for a 15 percent stake, in a deal that could reach $600 million if Novartis exercises a buyout option that expires in 2016.
The $15 million investment will be used to advance Gamida Cell’s clinical programs, including the development of NiCord, an experimental treatment for patients with high risk hematological malignancies, or blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma and sickle cell disease.
Gamida plans to initiate a Phase III clinical trial with NiCord in mid-2016.
As part of the latest deal, Novartis will immediately invest $5 million in Gamida Cell for an additional 2.5 percent stake. Also, subject to the close of an equity financing by the end of 2017 to fund the late stage development of NiCord, Novartis will invest up to another $10 million.
Novartis will not have rights or options to Gamida Cell products or technology under the terms of the agreement.
Other Gamida shareholders include Clal Biotechnology Industries, Elbit Imaging, Israel Healthcare Venture, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Denali Ventures and Auriga Ventures.
(Reporting by Steven Scheer; editing by Susan Thomas)
Five years ago, GSK made headlines when it hired Emma Walmsley to become the first woman to run a major pharmaceutical company. Now the Big Pharma has brought in another woman to control the company’s finances. Julie Brown will be GSK’s next chief financial officer. Brown, currently the chief operating and financial officer at fashion and beauty brand Burberry Group, is set to replace Iain Mackay.
Moderna created a new role responsible for “building out the company’s organization to support its growing pipeline.” Starting first thing 2023, Juan Andres, Moderna’s manufacturing head, will step into this new role under the title president of strategic partnerships and enterprise expansion, the company said Thursday.
The latest takeover is anticipated to boost the presence of Torrent in the dermatology segment. Indian company Torrent Pharmaceuticals has signed a definitive agreement for the complete acquisition of Curatio Healthcare for $245.16m (Rs20bn).