Cardio3 to become Celyad as pivot from CV to CAR-T continues

Cardio3 Biosciences (EBR:CARD) is planning to change its name. Having expanded beyond its initial focus on cardiovascular diseases through the acquisition of CAR-T assets, management has decided the name no longer fits. If shareholders approve, Cardio3 will soon become Celyad.

Cardio3 CEO Christian Homsy

Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium-based Cardio3 snuck the news out in the agenda for its upcoming annual general meeting, which is scheduled for May 5. The agenda is devoid of reasons for the proposed renaming, but Cardio3 CEO Christian Homsy divulged more details to Belgian business newspaper L'Echo. The idea is to better reflect the work that goes on at Cardio3, which now defines itself more as a general cell therapy player than a cardiovascular specialist.

Cardio3 came up with the new name by tacking the Hebrew word for "hand"--yad--onto an abbreviated form of "cell." The thinking behind the name matters far less than what Cardio3 hopes it will achieve, though. With the company set to become the latest European biotech to go cap-in-hand to Wall Street, it needs a name that won't confuse investors who are unfamiliar with its operations. Such confusion could be particularly costly if it meant Cardio3 missed out on the CAR-T gravy train.

If everything goes to plan, Celyad could soon be sitting alongside Cellectis ($CLLS) on lists of U.S. stock tickers and in the minds of CAR-T-focused investors. Both companies are part of the ongoing wave of European biotechs to wash up in the U.S. in search of cash. The Wall Street Journal profiled the trend this week. An anonymous banker quoted in the article said "a lot to all" of European biotechs are mulling listing in the U.S. to escape the perennial financing problems in their home continent.

As well as the oft-cited issue of the lack of specialist biotech investors in Europe, the bankers pointed to the ease with which further equity can be raised in the U.S. as a reason for the exodus. MorphoSys CEO Simon Moroney touched on similar issues in an interview with Die Welt, in which he bemoaned how worries about raising money cause German entrepreneurs to scale down their ambitions.

- read the agenda (PDF, French)
- check out L'Echo's article (French)
- here's the WSJ piece
- and the Die Welt interview (German)

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