Cardio3 Biosciences (EBR:CARD) is set to become the latest European biotech to pitch up on Wall Street in search of cash from public investors. And with a clinical-phase CAR-T asset in its pipeline, the Belgian biotech stands a chance of tapping into investor enthusiasm for the red-hot niche.
|Cardio3 CEO Christian Homsy|
Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium-based Cardio3 is yet to decide on the timing or pricing of the proposed offering, but has initiated the process by filing a confidential draft registration statement with the SEC. If the offering goes ahead, Cardio3 will be available on three markets, with the U.S. joining exchanges in Brussels and Paris. Shares in Cardio3 on the European markets--which it joined in 2013 through a €26.5 million ($28.6 million) IPO--traded up 8% following news of the plan to list in the U.S. A lot has changed for Cardio3 since it went public in Europe.
In January, Cardio3 bought itself a place in the CAR-T race as part of its attempt to expand beyond the cardiovascular indications that gave the company its name. The lead asset Cardio3 gained in the $180 million buyout of OnCyte--an immunotherapy that targets ligands of NKG2D--is in Phase I, putting the company within touching distance of the leaders in the field. And while Cardio3 lacks the established CAR-T credentials of rivals such as Cellectis ($CLLS) and Juno Therapeutics ($JUNO), it is well versed in the broader field of cell therapy and thinks its assets standout in a field dominated by CD19 T cells.
The cell therapy experience derives from the company's early cardiovascular work. Cardio3's lead candidate--C-Cure--is an autologous stem cell therapy for congestive heart failure. Data from a European Phase III trial of the treatment--which successfully negotiated a futility analysis this week--is due in mid-2016. With data on the CAR-T asset also due in 2016, Cardio3 and any U.S. investors who back the offering are set for an important year. For its part, Cardio3 is bullish, with plans for a U.S. manufacturing plant for C-Cure and its CAR-T therapies already in place.