Cardio3 cleared to test patients in Spain
Spain is the sixth country to clear the way for European Phase III trial of Cardo3's C-Cure. The United Kingdom, Belgium, Israel, Serbia and Hungary have all given the Belgium-based Cardio3 approval to conduct the tests of its treatment of congestive heart failure.
The company reports that 11 medical centers have already begun recruiting patients in those countries. The first patients were treated in June 2013.
"The authorization by the Spanish authorities is another important step in our development plan. We believe our unique therapy offers the potential to revolutionize treatment for heart failure, a common and severe illness," stated Cardio3 BioSciences CEO Dr. Christian Homsy in the announcement.
These tests are important in clearing the way for the revolutionary treatment to make its way to the public. 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.
The potential for patients, the company as well as Mayo Clinic is huge.
It's 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.
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.
To help fund this ambitious study, Cardio3 BioSciences released an IPO in July simultaneously on NYSE Euronext stock exchanges in Brussels and Paris that raised $29.6 million, or 23 million Euros.
Prior to the IPO, Cardio3 had raised a total of $66 million in financing since it first formed and began working in this treatment.