Mayo Clinic-connected Cardio3 Biosciences raises $24 million
Cardio3 BioSciences, the biotechnology firm based on Mayo Clinic research with U.S. headquarters in Rochester, recently raised $24 million in financing to continue the development of its treatment designed to regenerate parts of a patient's heart.
In its announcement, the Belgium-based company reported that it plans to use this latest round of financing for the Phase III clinical trial of its C-Cure product underway in Europe. Cardio3 describes it as "…The world's first phase III trial using pre-programmed cardiac progenitor cells and targeting heart failure."
The therapy uses stem cells from a patient's bone marrow. Through a proprietary process called Cardiopoiesis, Cardio3 re-programs those cells to become heart cells. The cells are then injected back into the patient's heart to repair damaged tissue.
Cardio3 licensed Mayo Clinic's research in 2007. That research is led by Mayo Clinic's Dr. Andre Terzic and Dr. Atta Behfar. The company lists Mayo Clinic as controlling 25 percent of the company's capitalization.
While no royalties have accrued yet, Cardio3 says Mayo Clinic has rights to receive future royalties, which will be shared with Drs. Terzic and Behfar.
Of the $24 million, $9 million is in new equity committed by existing investors, with $15.5 million coming from a conversion of existing convertible loans. The financing is expected to be finalized by the end of May 2013.
Cardio3 says it has raised a total of $66 million in financing since it formed and began pursuing a treatment of congestive heart failure.
It estimated that about 23 million people worldwide are afflicted with congestive heart failure and 2 million new cases are diagnosed each year worldwide. It is a disorder on the increase in the U.S., in particular. Analysts have estimated a successful treatment for congestive heart failure could bring in about $1 billion a year for whatever company that brings it to market.
"Our ability to raise this significant amount of funding demonstrates the commitment of our investors and their confidence in the considerable value that we can generate from C-Cure," stated Cardio3's CEO Christian Homsy. "We are confident that this study will confirm that C-Cure has the potential to significantly improve the disease course of those very sick patients, and could lead to a paradigm shift in the treatment of heart failure."