Hadasit Bio-Holdings Ltd. (TASE:HDST; Bulletin Board: HADSY), which has a portfolio of biomed holdings, has announced the completion of a deal in which it will sell its entire 21% stake in Cell Cure Neurosciences to US company BioTime Inc. (NYSE: BTX; TASE: BTX) for $12.75 million, to be paid in BioTime shares. The deal reflects a $60 million value for Cell Cure, a stem cell companies that is developing cell for treatment of retinal degeneration.
Traded at a market cap of NIS 25 million, Hadasit believes that it will post a $9 million pre-tax accounting profit following the deal. The company share price jumped 35% following the announcement. BioTime, which is listed at a NIS 1.2 billion market cap, already owns 62% of Cell Cure. Following the deal, BioTime, together with other parties, will have full ownership of Cell Cure. BioTime has given Hadasit Bio-Holdings a five-year option to buy back 5% of Cell Cure on terms similar to the those in the current deal.
Like all the companies in Hadasit Bio-Holdings, Cell Cure was founded on the basis of technology developed at Hadassah Medical Center that was commercialized through the hospital's technology commercialization company. BioTime was one of the first investors in Cell Cure. A connection was created, in which BioTime acquired a 14% stake in Hadasit Bio-Holdings, which was listed for trading in 2015.
BioTime decided to acquire full ownership of Cell Cure after it published in early May initial results for a number of people who participated in trial of its stem cell implants. These trials found that the cells were well received in the patients' retinas, and they did not suffer from deteriorating eyesight, in contrast to what usually happens to patients with this condition.
In 2010, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) invested in Cell Cure, together with BioTime, at an $8 million company value, and received a license to market the product in exchange for a milestones agreement, Teva eventually abandoned the deal, when it focused its innovative business on neurological and oncological diseases, and later only on neurological diseases.
Hadasit Bio-Holdings currently has two main other holdings. One is a 17% share in Enlivex Therapeutics, a stem cell company that treats side effects of the treatment for blood cancer. Elivex is led by chairman Shai Novik, the former CEO Prolor Biotech. Hadasit also has a 30% stake in KAHR Medical, which raised $12 million in 2015, and is developing an innovative drug for treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases, which is likely to enter clinical trials in 2018 or 2019.
Vincent Tchenguiz, chairman of Consensus Business Group, which owns 38% of Hadasit Bio-Holdings' shares, said today, "The deal will produce a significant return for the Hadasit Bio-Holdings shareholders, after many years during which they supported the company. We spotted Hadasit Bio-Holdings' potential at an early stage, and we are now enjoying the fruits of the investment. We plan to continue investing in more biomed companies in Israel."
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on June 18, 2017
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