Jerusalem, Israel, September 25, 2003 --- Gamida-Cell Ltd. (www.gamida-cell.com), a leader in hematopoietic (blood) stem cell therapeutics in clinical development for cancer and autoimmune diseases, as well as future regenerative cell-based medicines, announced today the official start of the Company’s Israel Stem Cell Therapy Consortium projects. The programs were approved just days ago by the Magnet Committee of the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Israel, the primary underwriter of Consortium.
Gamida-Cell is an entrepreneur and leading member of the newly established Consortium, purposed to combine the efforts of companies, academic groups and hospital research centers to develop generic technologies for industrialized stem cell therapy. The current budget of the Consortium is between $15-20 million.
“We are delighted that the programs of the Israel Stem Cell Therapy Consortium are now in full swing. We are anticipating great strides to be made as well as a new global standard of excellence. We hope that the results of the Consortium studies will serve as an example of the great advances that can be achieved in the emerging field of cellular therapeutics,” said Mr. Ilan Peled, General Manager of the Israel Magnet Program of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Gamida-Cell projects include:
- Isolation and ex vivo expansion of keratinocyte stem cell for burns and wound healing
- Ex vivo expansion of stem / progenitor cells for skeletal regeneration
- Isolation characterization and ex vivo expansion of fetal and adults hepatic stem/progenitor cells
- Development, utilization, ex vivo expansion and possible up scaling of feeder layer free hESC
- 3D bioreactor for scaling up, ex vivo expansion and directed differentiation of stem/progenitor cells
- Development, optimization and validation of innovative cell therapy technologies
“The Consortium presents a dynamic opportunity to fully explore the potential of Gamida-Cell’s technology. Our experience with the company’s first product StemEx™ (a unit of expanded cord blood stem cells) has been positive, enough to encourage further investigation. We believe that combining the efforts of academia and commercial enterprise will enable the expedition of scientific progress in many areas of research,” said Dr. Arnon Nagler, Professor, Head of Hematology Division
Stem Cell Transplantation and Cord Blood Bank, Chaim Sheba Medical Center,
Tel Hashomer and Clinical Advisor to Gamida-Cell.
Academic institutions participating in the Consortium include: Ben Gurion University, Hadassah Medical Center, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The Technion, Tel Aviv University and Sorasky Medical Center.
“We have had a tremendous year at Gamida-Cell mainly due to a focused strategy. As a result, in 2003 alone, we’ve commenced a Phase I IND of our lead product StemEx™ for the treatment of leukemia and lymphoma at M. D. Anderson, signed a strategic agreement with Teva for the development of StemEx™ and have helped to successfully launch the cell therapy consortium in Israel. Our next goal is to establish partnerships with those in the global biotech and business communities interested in collaborating on the development of effective and therapeutic treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases, a market estimated to be approximately $30 billion,” said Gamida-Cell CEO Mr. Ehud Marom.
Gamida-Cell Ltd., headquartered in Jerusalem, Israel, was founded in 1998, based on technology for stem cell expansion licensed from and jointly developed with Hadassah University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel. The company is currently engaged in a Phase I study in the U.S which, pending regulatory approval, will be followed by a pivotal multi-center study in the US and Europe. The combined market potential of Gamida-Cell products and indications is estimated at $30 billion worldwide. The Company’s first commercial product is expected in 2006. Scientific and clinical collaborators include The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Dana Farber Institute, Duke University and Stanford University Medical School. Investors include Elscint (Europe-Israel) headed by Motti Zisser, Biomedical Investments, Denali Ventures, Teva, Auriga Ventures, Pamot and Comverse.