Julian Adams manages to complete his $50M IPO at Gamida Cell — at a heavy cost

Julian Adams has his $50 million IPO, but it cost plenty.

Julian Adams

The Gamida Cell CEO, who’s steering his way through a late-stage study with a therapy that never quite managed to attract a significant amount of attention, had to go out at $8, well short of the $13 to $15 range that was projected. Getting the $50 million took selling a bigger batch of 6.25 million shares. And that meant walking away from their $300 million valuation and accepting a downgrade to $210 million.

Adams, a longtime Boston biotech scientist who built his rep at Millennium and continued for a long stretch at Infinity before jumping out on his own, moved to the helm of Gamida Cell a year ago. The Israeli biotech has been developing a cell graft for blood cancer patients in need of a bone marrow transplant that is made up of stem cells, progenitor cells as well as dendritic cells extracted from the umbilical cord. And it’s attracted the careful attention of Novartis, which has passed on options to buy the company but remains a large investor in it.

Long rumored as a potential takeover target, with Novartis pictured as the likely buyer, Gamida Cell has largely been seen as a fringe player on the world biotech stage. Adams was supposed to help change that. But it’s not an overnight process. 

You can find the stock trading as $GMDA.

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