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Israel's Gamida Cell gets buyout offer from unnamed drugmaker

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli developer of stem cell therapies Gamida Cell has received a buyout offer worth hundreds of millions dollars from an unnamed global pharmaceutical company, two shareholders in the company said on Tuesday.

Elbit Medical Technologies, which has a 30.8 percent share in Gamida, said the offer includes a "significant immediate payment and additional future payments totaling hundreds of millions of dollars".

Israel's Globes financial daily reported that the interested buyer was Swiss drugmaker Novartis, though a spokeswoman for Elbit said they were not commenting on the report.

The offer was received on March 7, said Clal Biotechnology Industries, which has about 22 percent of Gamida, in its own statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Gamida said it is developing a pipeline of products to treat a wide range of conditions, including blood cancers and solid tumors. Its StemEx treatment is being tested as part of a transplant regimen for patients with high risk leukemia and lymphoma [ID:nL5N0CY1CL]

The future payments would be conditioned upon meeting milestones in development, registration and sales, Elbit and Clal said.

Other Gamida shareholders include Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Amgen, Denali Ventures, Auriga Ventures and Israel Healthcare Venture.

Elbit Medical is 90 percent owned by Elbit Imaging.

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch)

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