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Novartis wades into stem cell therapies

Novartis will pay $35 million for a 15% stake in Gamida Cell, with an option to buy the Jerusalem–based stem cell developer in the next few years. Gamida's lead product NiCord is currently in phase 1/2 to treat patients suffering from leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell disease. NiCord is CD133+ hematopoietic stem cells within a unit of cord blood expanded with nicotinamide (vitamin B3) over a period of 21 days. Should Novartis exercise its option based on development and regulatory milestones, the Swiss drug maker will pay Gamida shareholders $165 million in cash, with potential future payments reaching another $435 million based on sales.

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Novartis wades into stem cell therapies. Nat Biotechnol 32, 969 (2014).

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