Belgium's Cardio3 BioSciences has launched an initial public offering in Brussels and Paris to help finance its late-stage stem cell treatment for heart failure.

The Mont-Saint-Guibert-headquartered firm is issuing 1.3 million shares priced between 16.65- 19.00 euros each. The offering includes an over-allotment option of an extra 15% to just shy of 1.5 million new shares.

If that option is taken up, Cardio3 will raise 28.4 million euros and the firm noted that "two long-term investors" based in Belgium have guaranteed a commitment of 13.95 million euros at any price. The funds will be used for the development of C-Cure, a therapy that involves taking cells from a patient’s bone marrow.

Those cells are re-programmed to replicate the normal process of cardiac development in the embryo and healing the failing heart. The cells, known as cardiopoietic cells, are then injected back into the patient’s heart through a minimally invasive procedure, Cardio3 notes.

Chief executive Christian Homsy said the funds will help the firm complete its European Phase III study for C-Cure, "gain approval from the Food and Drug Administration to begin our US study, and begin clinical trials with one of our pipeline products for acute myocardial infarction". He claimed that C-Cure "has the potential to go beyond symptom relief towards healing heart tissue and could mark a significant step forward in treatment".